N.S. PC Party Leader Tim Houston in Enfield. (Healey photo)

ENFIELD: Tim Houston is remaining focused at the task at hand even though when a provincial election will be held is unknown.

The leader of the PC Party of N.S. said he’s taking Premier Stephen McNeil at his word that he won’t be calling an election in 2020, so his party is using that time to inform Nova Scotians what Houston is all about.

“We’re focused on making Nova Scotians know what I, as a leader, am about, what the party is about, and that they here our ideas,” said Houston in an interview at an Enfield coffee shop. “I won’t criticize without putting a plan forward myself, I think people will see that.

“We’re using this time that residents hear directly from us.”

It is rumoured an election may be called in the Spring or Fall of 2021. However, that became muddied on Aug. 6 when McNeil announced he would be stepping down thus setting up a Leadership election for the provincial Liberals. That would be held several months down the road, and with enough time to get the new leader ready for a provincial election.

Houston said the party is looking at making their roster of candidates that will vie to win seats across the province as diverse as possible. He is up to talking to those who may be interested to be on the ballot as a PC member for the election.

“I want to talk to anyone who cares about their community, who sees the good int heir community and wants better things for it,” said Houston. “I always say to people I am not swayed by their traditional political affiliation. I talk to everyone.

“We’re looking for people who care about the province and their community. That’s the only criteria that I have.”

He said people are starting to think about a general provincial election, so people are thinking about candidates and their own future.

“I’m pretty encouraged by the interest we are having across the province,” said Houston, who was spending the day in East Hants on a leader’s tour.

Houston said government is for the people by the people. He would work at ensuring more diversity is in the list of candidates that is put forth for the election. This would include more women, People of Colour and Indigenous people.

“You need different perspectives around the table. You need different perspectives in elected offices, different backgrounds and life experiences,” he said. “Certainly, for me, when I look at the PC Party, I know we need to be much more diverse. It has been a focus of mine. I created a Diversity Committee and have reached out.”

He has faith the slate of candidates will indeed be diverse.

“I’m still optimistic when we put forth a slate of candidates for the provincial election it will eb represented of the people of Nova Scotia,” he said, “and it will be people who care about their communities.”