GUYSBOROUGH – Lloyd Hines is a household name in Guysborough County. With over 30 years in political life, there is little surprise that he has chosen once again to throw his hat in the ring for this, his 13th election run.
Hines sat as councillor and warden in the Municipality of the District of Guysborough and was first elected as provincial MLA in October 2013. The Journal spoke with him at the official opening of his election headquarters in Guysborough on Monday.
With some precarious health issues during his first term as MLA and a long record of public service, The Journal asked Hines why he continues to beat the political drum. “I don’t think I have done all I can do,” he replied. “I think I have one more term in me. I was feeling great. I was very blessed in this term; I had a serious health issue and it was caught early and thanks to the great medical system we have, I am in excellent medical condition to do it.”
In large part Hines’ enthusiasm comes from the many projects that are just on the horizon. “There are so many exciting things that are in front of us here...We are seeing some real opportunities coming our way and with the policies of this government, and the Premier and his determination, I want to go one more term. I think I can make a difference for people and that is what this is all about.”
Speaking to his track record as MLA serving the Guysborough – Eastern Shore – Tracadie riding, Hines points to numerous projects that have come to fruition or have boots on the ground since he was elected, including the expansion of the Guysborough Memorial Hospital, plans for a new school in Sheet Harbour, a new Fire Hall in Sherbrooke, internet upgrades in the eastern end of the riding and the recently announced funding for the Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex in Guysborough. “I am excited about what we have been able to accomplish,” Hines said.
His main strength, said Hines, comes from experience. “This is my 32nd year of elected office in Nova Scotia. This is my 13th election and I have been very fortunate and I have only lost one out of that package. During that period of time I have learned a lot and I have been given a great privilege by the people who kept reelecting me here...I have been working for education and health for many, many years and I understand how it works and that is an important part of it.”
The focus, if reelected, said Hines, is growth. “I am proud to be part of this government...What we did as a government was put a fence around public spending...We have spent our first term focusing on the expense side of the income statement; we have corralled that, circled it and got it under control. We have delivered two successive balanced budgets...Now we have to work on the revenue side. We’ve got to unleash our potential and our power and grow the economy, grow investment, get people working here.”
When asked to comment on the recently released Ombudsman’s report on MODG spending while he was warden of the municipality in which some spending was deemed “inappropriate or opportunistic” Hines said, “I am so proud of the 25 years that I spent as a privileged representative of the people of this municipality. My record speaks for itself on that side. I am very pleased with the Ombudsman’s report because it clearly says...there was no misappropriation of funds. There was no wrongdoing. That is the message that I take out of the process.
“That was an intensive review. Very few people in public life go through that kind of an audit as it were. It is done, and my only comment on that is that the people of Guysborough – Eastern Shore – Tracadie will decide what they think of that.”