Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia's New Tory Leader Styles Himself as a 'Progressive' Who Will Listen

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia's New Tory Leader Styles Himself as a 'Progressive' Who Will Listen

Article excerpt

New N.S. Tory leader savours victory

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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's new Tory leader says he already sees his path to power: Listening.

Tim Houston, a former international financial consultant, contrasted his style against the incumbent, Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil, during an interview Tuesday to mark his decisive leadership victory on Saturday.

Houston, a self-described "progressive," said he's confident the Progressive Conservatives can form government in three years time if they successfully connect with the public.

"Because people will see themselves in the ideas that we are talking about," he said. "I think there's a real opportunity there."

Listening to people about their expertise and ideas has been "a missing piece in the way we've been governed for a while now," he said.

"We really need to reach out and get the opinions of many people and then of course it's up to the leader to make the decision," the 48-year-old MLA for Pictou East said in a telephone interview from his home.

First elected to the provincial legislature in 2013, Houston was re-elected in 2017. He is married and has two children.

A chartered accountant, Houston previously worked in the private sector including as a financial consultant with Deloitte and a lengthy stint in Bermuda where he helped advise a number of international firms.

Houston has his own ideas on what needs to be done in Nova Scotia, including for a health system hindered by persistent doctor shortages, emergency room closures and a lack of access to primary care.

He said the current system was designed with a heavy emphasis on acute care and that has to change to focus more on chronic conditions and prevention given the province's aging demographic.

"We are spending almost $4.5 billion on health care and we need to make sure we are spending it properly to get the best possible health outcomes," said Houston. …

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