N.S. ag minister among defeated Tories

The New Democrats’ majority win in Nova Scotia’s provincial election Tuesday has claimed the agriculture minister among many others in Tory Premier Rodney MacDonald’s cabinet.

Agriculture Minister Mark Parent lost the Kings North riding, considered the largest agricultural riding in the province, to NDP candidate Jim Morton Tuesday night.

Morton, who was born and raised on a Kings County Farm and is the manager for addiction services with Annapolis Valley Health, defeated Parent, a Baptist pastor, by a spread of 456 votes.

Parent’s two opposition critics in the legislature both held their ridings for their respective parties Tuesday, with NDP agriculture critic John MacDonell, a teacher and Enfield-area farmer, defeating Tory candidate Todd Williams in Hants East by a decisive spread of 4,542 votes.

Leo Glavine, a teacher and high school vice-principal turned agriculture critic for the provincial Liberals, defeated Tory candidate Chris Palmer by a spread of 3,328 votes.

Barring any challenges, the election relegates MacDonald’s Progressive Conservatives to third-party status with just 10 of 52 seats, while the Liberals take over from the NDP as official opposition with 11 seats. The NDP, meanwhile, forms a solid majority government with 31 seats.

The three party leaders all held their seats, with MacDonald keeping the northern riding of Inverness coloured Tory blue, Stephen McNeil holding Annapolis for the Liberals and premier-elect Darrell Dexter keeping Cole Harbour for the NDP.

Among the Tory cabinet ministers who will return to the opposition benches, Economic and Rural Development Minister Murray Scott kept his Cumberland South riding for the PCs, defeating the NDP’s Don Tabor by 2,712 votes.

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