After a great deal of reflection and discussion with my family, I have concluded that this is not the right time for me to seek the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia.
Since November, I have been honoured and humbled by the number of Nova Scotians, inside and outside the PC Party, who encouraged me to pursue the leadership. Your support and your belief in me as the leader who would make Nova Scotia more prosperous, progressive and sustainable will always mean a great deal. Letting you down has weighed heavily on me.
But to be the kind of father for my six year old son and husband to my wife that I expect of myself means that I must be present in their lives in a way that’s simply not compatible with the time I was planning to dedicate to a leadership campaign and bringing together a new, broad coalition of Nova Scotians to elect a Progressive Conservative majority government in the next election.
Thanks to the strong foundation that Jamie Baillie has built as PC leader, there are at least five other declared and potential leadership candidates – qualified and capable women and men inside and outside of the Progressive Conservative Caucus. Having a healthy number of candidates for the leadership and giving party members and other Nova Scotians a reasonable period of time to scrutinize the candidates and make an informed choice is a sign of strength in our party.
I am looking forward to hearing more from each of these individuals on the direction they intend to provide for the party and the kind of government they plan on leading as Nova Scotia’s next Premier.
At its best, the PC Party of Nova Scotia has achieved great things for Nova Scotians. Progressive Conservatives introduced public education in the 19th century and Medicare in the 20th century. As we approach the third decade of the 21st century, Progressive Conservatives need to provide the leadership and the government whose legacy will be a high-growth economy to make Nova Scotia the destination for people to stay here or move here. Now that I have chosen not to offer myself as that leader, I hope to find a leadership candidate who can build the best team to lead this charge for change.
With the door closing on my seeking the Progressive Conservative leadership, I will be focusing full-time on my business, working with my partners and clients to contribute to economic growth and job creation in Nova Scotia.
I want to say a special thank you to:
- The “early stage, start up” campaign team – thank you for the energy, wisdom, support and loyalty you brought to getting us close to the starting line;
- My business partners, colleagues and clients – thank you for your support, patience and understanding; and
- My family – thank you for your constant love and support.
In the meantime, I will keep our conversation going on politics, public policy and whatever’s topical through my Twitter feed (@rbatherson), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RobBatherson/) and blog (www.robbatherson.ca/blog).
Let’s stay in touch.