Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia

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Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia
Active provincial party
Leader Tim Houston
President David Bond
Founded 1867
Headquarters 1660 Hollis Street
Suite 1003
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3J 1V7
Ideology Fiscal conservatism
Colours Blue
Seats in House of Assembly
17 / 51
Politics of Nova Scotia
Political parties

The Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia, is a moderate[2] political party in Nova Scotia, Canada. Like most conservative parties in Atlantic Canada, they have been historically associated with the "Red Tory"[3] faction within Canadian conservatism. The party is currently led by Pictou East MLA Tim Houston.


The Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia, registered under the Nova Scotia Elections Act as the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia, originated from the Confederation Party of Charles Tupper. Tupper united members of the pre-Confederation Conservative Party (who were predominantly United Empire Loyalists and members of the business elite) and supporters of Sir John A. Macdonald's national Conservative coalition. The party supported Macdonald's protectionist National Policy, nation-building, and the unification of British North America.

Canadian Confederation was initially unpopular in Nova Scotia, and the party was out of government for most of the late 19th century. It formed government for only six years between 1867 and 1956. It bottomed out in 1945, when the party was shut out of the legislature altogether.

The modern party was built by Robert Stanfield after World War II. Stanfield, the scion of a wealthy textile family, considered himself a socialist at university and, while he later moderated his views, he always remained a progressive. Under his leadership, what was by then the "Progressive Conservative Party" became a moderate Red Tory organization.[4] He was able to get the party back into the House of Assembly soon after taking the leadership. By 1956, he had built it into an organization that was able to sweep to power, winning re-election four times.

As premier, he led reforms in human rights, education, municipal government and health care and also created Industrial Estates Limited, a crown corporation that successfully attracted investment from world companies such as Michelin Tire.[5] He worked to modernized the road system, brought in the first form of Medicare, established the first economic development agency, invested heavily in education at all levels and established the predecessor to the Nova Scotia Community College.

After Stanfield left provincial politics to become leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party in 1967, G. I. Smith served as premier until 1970.[6] After being elected party leader in 1971, John Buchanan was elected premier in 1978.[7] He was re-elected in 1981, 1984 and 1988. In the 1984 election, voters served his largest majority, capturing 42 of the 52 seats in the legislature.[8] Buchanan's government first succeeded in convincing federal government to give Nova Scotia control over offshore resources such as gas and oil, resulting in future revenue for the province through the Crown Share.[9]

Roger Bacon became premier in 1990 after Buchanan was appointed to the Senate of Canada and until the party selected Donald W. Cameron as party leader and premier. During his term, Cameron reformed government finance practices, promoted anti-discrimination measures, introduced new government accountability measures and established the first non-partisan electoral boundaries revision commission in 1992.[10]

The party in recent years

After six years of Liberal governments led by John Savage and later Russel MacLellan, PC leader John Hamm was elected premier in 1999. After taking office, he invested more in education and health care. implemented some tax cuts and sold or closed government-owned industries such as Sydney Steel.[11] His government also passed tough lobbyist registration legislation, introduced smoking cessation initiatives, provided new funding for community college modernization and achieved historically high economic growth and employment numbers.[12] His government was the first to truly balance provincial finances in 25 years in 2002.[13]

Tim Houston is the current leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia.

Rodney MacDonald took the party reins from Hamm in 2006 and subsequently became Premier of Nova Scotia. Through strategic investments in rural broadband infrastructure, MacDonald continued to expand high-speed internet access throughout the province.[14] MacDonald’s government moved to help stabilize energy costs, grow the economy and attract new investment to the province.

The 2006 election resulted in a reduced minority for MacDonald and the Progressive Conservatives were reduced to third-party status in the 2009 election.[15] On June 24, 2009, MacDonald stepped down as leader and Karen Casey was named the interim leader.

As the only candidate in the leadership election, Jamie Baillie became leader of the PC Party on October 30, 2010.[16] He led the party into the 2013 election, and won eleven seats to form the Official Opposition.[17] In the 2017 election, the party retained official opposition status, and increased their seat count to 17.[18]

On November 1, 2017, Baillie announced he was stepping down as leader.[19][20] Baillie was to remain in the position until a new leader was chosen, however on January 24, 2018, he resigned after the party executive requested his immediate resignation due to "allegations of inappropriate behaviour".[21][22] Following his resignation, Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane was named interim leader.[21]

The party president is David Bond.[23] The party also has a recognized youth wing called the Nova Scotia Young Progressive Conservative Association whose president is Tristan Shaw.[24]

The Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia and the Conservative Party of Canada are two separate entities. There is no formal connection between the two parties. In fact,  if someone becomes a member of the Nova Scotia NDP or Liberal parties, they automatically become a member of the federal party.[25][26] The same is not true of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party.

Values and mission

According to the PC Party website, their mission is "to form a fiscally responsible, socially progressive government that promotes individual achievement and personal responsibility, is accountable to its citizens, listens to its people, embraces innovation, preserves the best of our unique heritage and diverse cultures and learns from the past".[27]

Current elected members

Name Riding Year elected
Tim Houston Pictou East 2013
Barbara Adams Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage 2017
Keith Bain Victoria-The Lakes 2017
Brian Comer Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg 2019
Steve Craig Sackville-Cobequid 2019
Pat Dunn Pictou Centre 2013
Tim Halman Dartmouth East 2017
Larry Harrison Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley 2013
Karla MacFarlane Pictou West 2013
Brad Johns Sackville-Beaver Bank 2017
Colton LeBlanc Argyle-Barrington 2019
John Lohr Kings North 2013
Allan MacMaster Inverness 2009
Kim Masland Queens-Shelburne 2017
Tory Rushton Cumberland South 2018
Dave Ritcey Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River 2020
Murray Ryan Northside-Westmount 2019

Party leaders

Election results

Election Leader Votes  % Seats +/– Position Government
1867 Hiram Blanchard 38.5
2 / 38
Steady 0 Steady 2nd Opposition
1871 43.7
14 / 38
Increase 12 Steady 2nd Opposition
1874 Simon Hugh Holmes 43.6
12 / 38
Decrease 2 Steady 2nd Opposition
1878 51.7
32 / 38
Increase 20 Increase 1st Majority
1882 John Sparrow David Thompson 46.9
14 / 38
Decrease 18 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1886 Adam Carr Bell 28.6
10 / 38
Decrease 4 Steady 2nd Opposition
1890 William McKay 46.7
9 / 38
Decrease 1 Steady 2nd Opposition
1894 47.3
13 / 38
Increase 4 Steady 2nd Opposition
1897 44.4
3 / 38
Decrease 10 Steady 2nd Opposition
1901 Charles Smith Wilcox 41.7
2 / 38
Decrease 1 Steady 2nd Opposition
1906 Charles Elliott Tanner 42.1
4 / 38
Increase 2 Steady 2nd Opposition
1911 John M. Baillie 45.4
12 / 38
Increase 8 Steady 2nd Opposition
1916 Charles Elliott Tanner 48.8
12 / 43
Steady 0 Steady 2nd Opposition
1920 24.7
3 / 43
Decrease 9 Decrease 4th Opposition
1925 Edgar Nelson Rhodes 60.9
40 / 43
Increase 37 Increase 1st Majority
1928 51.7
24 / 43
Decrease 16 Steady 1st Majority
1933 Gordon Sidney Harrington 45.9
8 / 30
Decrease 16 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1937 46.0
5 / 30
Decrease 3 Steady 2nd Opposition
1941 Frederick Murray Blois 40.3
5 / 30
Steady 0 Steady 2nd Opposition
1945 33.5
0 / 30
Decrease 5 Decrease 3rd No Seats
1949 Robert Stanfield 39.2
8 / 37
Increase 8 Increase 2nd Opposition
1953 43.6
13 / 37
Increase 5 Steady 2nd Opposition
1956 162,678 48.6
24 / 43
Increase 11 Increase 1st Majority
1960 168,023 48.3
27 / 43
Increase 3 Steady 1st Majority
1963 191,128 56.2
39 / 43
Increase 12 Steady 1st Majority
1967 180,498 52.8
40 / 46
Increase 1 Steady 1st Majority
1970 George Isaac Smith 177,986 46.9
21 / 46
Decrease 19 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1974 John Buchanan 166,388 38.6
12 / 46
Decrease 9 Steady 2nd Opposition
1978 203,500 45.8
31 / 52
Increase 19 Increase 1st Majority
1981 200,228 45.8
37 / 52
Increase 6 Steady 1st Majority
1984 209,298 50.6
42 / 52
Increase 5 Steady 1st Majority
1988 204,150 43.4
28 / 52
Decrease 14 Steady 1st Majority
1993 Donald William Cameron 151,383 31.1
9 / 52
Decrease 19 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1998 John Hamm 133,540 29.75
14 / 52
Increase 5 Decrease 3rd Third party
1999 169,383 39.20
30 / 52
Increase 16 Increase 1st Majority
2003 148,182 36.32
25 / 52
Decrease 5 Steady 1st Minority
2006 Rodney MacDonald 160,119 39.57
23 / 52
Decrease 2 Steady 1st Minority
2009 101,203 24.54
10 / 52
Decrease 13 Decrease 3rd Third party
2013 Jamie Baillie 109,452 26.31
11 / 51
Increase 1 Increase 2nd Opposition
2017 142,672 35.8
17 / 51
Increase 6 Steady 2nd Opposition
2021 Tim Houston TBD TBD
0 / 55

See also


  1. Edwards, Danielle (13 August 2021). "N.S. Tory leader leans left with endorsement from former NDP cabinet minister". CTV News Atlantic. Retrieved 14 August 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "PC 2017 Election Platform" (PDF). 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Nova Scotia Tories launch election campaign with promise to heal wounds". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-12-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Lewis, Robert. "Robert Stanfield (Obituary)". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2016-03-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Industrial Estates Limited Act". Retrieved 2016-04-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Premier named party leader by N.S. Tories". The Globe and Mail. November 4, 1967.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "N.S. Tories swing to right with election of Buchanan as leader". The Globe and Mail. March 8, 1971.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Buchanan Tories crush opponents in N.S. election". The Globe and Mail. November 7, 1984.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Historic Crown share settlement a political victory — Editorials — The News". Retrieved 2016-04-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Just Boundaries: Recommendations for Effective Representation for the People of Nova Scotia" (PDF). Nova Scotia Legislature. Nova Scotia Legislature.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "No more steel from Cape Breton as Sysco closes". Retrieved 2016-03-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Building a New Normal: Changing Social Norms Around Tobacco" (PDF). Smoke Free Kings.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Co-operation, More Money for Health Care, Balanced Budget". Retrieved April 1, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Former premier Rodney MacDonald recalls the glory days — Local — Cape Breton Post". Retrieved 2016-04-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "June 9th, 2009 Nova Scotia Provincial General Election, Elections Nova Scotia". Retrieved March 31, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "New N.S. PC leader promises fiscal restraint". CBC News, October 30, 2010.
  17. "Baillie leads PCs into 2nd". The Chronicle Herald, October 9, 2013.
  18. "Liberals score back-to-back majorities in Nova Scotia nail-biter". CBC News. May 30, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Jamie Baillie quitting role as leader of Progressive Conservatives". CBC News. November 1, 2017. Retrieved November 1, 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Jamie Baillie stepping down as Nova Scotia PC leader". The Chronicle Herald. November 1, 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. 21.0 21.1 "PC Leader Jamie Baillie forced out after allegations of 'inappropriate behaviour'". CBC News. January 24, 2018. Retrieved January 24, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Leeder, Jessica (January 24, 2018). "Nova Scotia PC leader Jamie Baillie resigns amid sexual harassment allegations". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. Retrieved January 24, 2018.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "PC Party Executive". PC Party. Retrieved 2021-05-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "PC Party Executive". PC Party. Retrieved 2021-05-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Become a Member". Nova Scotia's Liberals. Retrieved 2021-07-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Membership Portal". Nova Scotia New Democratic Party. Retrieved 2021-07-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Our Mission". PC Party. Retrieved 2016-04-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>