Election 17: McNeil passes on stop with Horne; didn’t want to distract

PC Leader Jamie Baillie show up to campaign with McNaughton, Johns on Hwy 2

FALL RIVER: A planned whistle stop by Premier Stephen McNeil to support Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank candidate Bill Horne was halted when the leader of the PC Party surprisingly showed up.

Jamie Baillie was scheduled to campaign with candidate Dan McNaughton earlier in the afternoon, but he made an appearance at about 4:45 p.m. with a group of supporters from McNaughton, including teachers upset at the Liberals and Bill 75.

Bill Horne talks to a supporter during the rally as they waited for Premier Stephen McNeil in Fall River. (Healey photo)

The group of McNaughton supporters lined the sidewalk from the Shoppers Drug Mart down to a midway point in front of Tim Hortons, while the group of Horne supporters lined from that point down Highway 2 to the lights by the entrance to Sobeys.

McNeil spokesman David Jackson explained why the team decided to bypass their scheduled stop in Fall River.

“After learning the PC leader was in the protest group, it was just a case of not wanting to distract from the hard work of the volunteers on Bill Horne’s campaign,” said Jackson. “It’s been a positive campaign for the Liberals and the Premier has already debated the other leaders twice, so it was a matter of not wanting to see anything detract from their eff‎orts.”

This resident was encouraging motorists to support any of the party’s but Liberal. (Healey photo)

One woman held a sign that said “Anyone But Liberal” and held the sign up as she walked past the supporters of Horne, with everyone letting her by with no trouble.

Sackville-Beaver PC Candidate Brad Johns was among those who were there during the rally.

There was a vehicle that went up and down Highway 2 several times honking their horn each time they passed the McNaughton side. Someone else in a separate vehicle yelled “Thanks for nothing McNeil” as it headed towards Waverley.

Despite the no show from his leader, Horne remained to be upbeat, knowing that voters will make the final decision today when they go to the polls and that he and his team had done all they could.

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with results expected to start coming in shortly after 8 p.m.

Watch The Laker’s website, facebook page, and Reporter Pat Healey on twitter @Laker_PatHealey for complete election night coverage.

PC Candidate Dan McNaughton waves to motorists during a rally on May 29 in Fall River. (Healey photo)