FALL RIVER: If voters in Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank give him the opportunity at a second term, Liberal Bill Horne has a long list of items he would like to address to help better the community he represents and lives in.

Horne understands there have been challenges during the past three-and-a-half years and people don’t agree with his stance on certain issues, most notably his decision to vote with his party when it came to the recent teachers strike and Bill 75.

But he is hoping that given time people can see in the end it was the right choice for the province.

Among the list of items Horne has that he wants to get to work on beginning May 31 include bringing water to more areas of the Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank riding; beginning talks to construct an all-weather turf field at Lockview High; working to bring seniors housing to the area; and working to bring more doctors to the province, including Beaver Bank.

He is involved in many community groups and organizations throughout the Waverley-Fall Rover-Beaver Bank areas, including the Lions Club and Lions Christmas Express. He has also volunteered his time for the Casino Night fundraiser held at the Beaver Bank-Kinsac Community Centre and Waverley Amateur Athletic Association in the past.

Horne, who calls Wellington home, is looking for voters support in the upcoming May 30 provincial election. He is hoping to fend off challenges from Green Party’s Anthony Edmonds; NDP Trevor Sanipass; and PC Dan McNaughton.

None of the candidates knew ahead of time what questions they would be asked.

Premier Stephen McNeil and Liberal candidate Bill Horne share a laugh with a volunteer at the Waverley Legion at their fish and chips lunch on May 5. (Healey photo)

Laker: “What do you see as your success in the riding over the past term?”

Horne: “I think there have been a lot of successes. I’ve worked diligently. I have a wonderful Constituency Assistant (Danielle Deveau) that works for me. We have helped a lot of people in our community. Seniors didn’t realize what they could get from government that’s paid for, legitimate programs. We have pointed them in the right direction. We get a lot of accolades for what we’ve done for them. These are people making $12-20,000 a year. They’ve asked us things they can do for their houses.

“The other good things are items that were in my brochure, most of which I have been able to accomplish. To be able to say that is a good thing. Things like water; the roads, the Wellington Connector and the Burnside-Sackville connector.

“We have also worked on getting lake access for residents, which was the third thing I was trying to do. I think it’s been a very good and prosperous three-and-a-half years. I just wish it was longer so we could have got other things done.

“I worked very closely with the community. I attend a lot of meetings with Waverley Amateur Athletic Association, SWEPS, the Lions Club, and the Emergency response organization. I’m there listening to people and what they want throughout Beaver Bank, Fall River, Waverley and surrounding areas.”

Laker: (Reader Question) “What is your plan to extend water service to the residential areas that are not included in the current project?

Horne: “We will be working on that as soon as the election is over, I hope. If that happens, we do foresee phases of seeing water systems going in. I can’t tell you who would get it, but I will be asking all community people to let us know if they feel they need the water so we can setup a schedule of doing these phase- ins.

“The most important are those who don’t have water now or having problems with water. We’ve met with some of these people already going around campaigning. I do know areas where I would like to get a start on if re-elected.”

Laker: “What are some things you would like to work on for the next four years if re-elected?”

Horne: “I have a bit of list I’d like to work on. The need for water is the big one. They oversized the pipes here to 16 inch on purpose. It gives us plenty of availability of water so we can expand it. It could go to Schwarzwald; it could go to Lockview Road; it could go to Aberdeen and St. Andrews Village. It could go to other places in Fall River Village that doesn’t have water, the old section that doesn’t have water. That’s probably the first one.

“We need to get more doctors, provincially. The problem isn’t the government. There are not enough doctors to come. For whatever reason, maybe we’re not paying them enough, maybe there needs to be more incentives. That will all be a part of the discussions. Doctors are important.

“I see it all the time. People come back from Fort McMurray, they have a baby, it’s supposed to see a doctor but they can’t because they don’t have a doctor. It’s worrisome.

“There’s one place in Beaver Bank where there should be a doctor. They’ve given approval for a doctor, but it’s left up to the doctor there to find somebody. They’re not getting a lot of help from government. He’s trying. I’d like to see that happen over there sooner rather than later.

“I’d also like to see the road put in from Wellington to Beaver Bank. I really do believe the people in Beaver Bank are being held up from expanding, subdivisions in particular and maybe sewage, because they don’t want to see more cars on the road.

“Every time I’m over there, Beaver Bank Road is busy all day long. Really busy during the morning and at night. Maybe the Glendale to Burnside road will help, but they will still have traffic. That’s a big issue.

“I still feel that people are entitled to use the lakes at their whim. That’s not really happening right now as a lot of them aren’t accessible to the public. I think that’s something I can work on with Natural Resources, and maybe even Fisheries and Oceans to put in some docks and roads to the lakes.

“A little bit out of my area, but getting an internal bus system for the community, maybe along Highway 2 up to the Big Stop in Enfield. Maybe it can stop at the subdivisions, and if the timings were correct they could pick up kids and take them to ball games, etc. I have a committee now that is willing to put in a big effort to see if we can work with HRM and the National Rural Transit Association to get some ideas. It would be nice to expand that.

“There are some field requirements for rugby, soccer, and football. I have been talking to the principal at Lockview, and he and others in the community would like to see an all-weather all-purpose field with a track around it. I do have a liking for track and field, so I would like a facility for them but I don’t know where that would go.

“Hockey rinks I don’t think we can get one here, but that’s something we should of had years ago but never had the opportunity. Those are some of the issues I had in mind that I’d like to work on.

“For Beaver Bank, the big one is to get that road through. I know that won’t be an easy one. It would also be used as a lateral to come from the Valley using Hwy 101. It would be good for the infrastructure for trucking.”

Laker: (Reader Question): “Since the Aerotech/Hwy 2 connector is approved financially, how come it’s going to take four years to be complete? There are plenty of companies out there that could have this done within a year or so. What are the candidates plans to speed this process up?”

Horne: “I’ve already talked to TIR about this and the scheduling timelines. Right now, it’s probably not going to happen until 2020 start and 2022 when it’s finished.

“The money they have garnered to put into these roads, it’s like for seven years. They need to budget for it over that length of time. Not saying they’re all going to start at the same time, one may start after two or three years.

“I think for safety reason they feel the other three are more important. But this (the Wellington/Aerotech Connector) is probably one of the cheaper ones I would think.”

Liberal candidate Bill Horne speaks to members of FRABA during their munch and mingle on May 11. The speaking engagement was arranged prior to the election call. He spoke about water and took questions from members. (Healey photo)

Laker: (Reader Question) “What is your vision for the future of the Fall River/Waverley/Windsor Jct./Beaver Bank area? What would the area look like after your time in office? What developments/services would you champion and what do you consider off limits for change?”

Horne: “The off limits would be the size of our properties. If we had both sewer and water going to the property they could re-sub divide their property where one house is now. I wouldn’t like to see that change. I think we’re a little different community where most people have one acre lots or larger and one family home. I would like the see in-law suites allowed to allow parents and grandparents live at a home. That’s not a common thing yet.

“We don’t have a lot of room for big business. I like what the small business community is doing in the area. I like the fact we have FRABA, which is really starting to take shape. I don’t think we’ll see a lot of changes here.

“We do need some seniors housing and, it’s my understanding, that the proposed development at the Carr Farm property can indeed be labelled as seniors housing. That’s new. It can be called a seniors building. That’s something that we really need.

“I think we should have different senior buildings, even a senior home that can get assisted living.”

VIDEO: Bill Horne on voting with party or constituents on issues

Laker: (Reader Question) “If your constituents reach out to you in opposition/favour of something that goes against your party, will you vote on behalf of your constituents or on behalf of your party? How will you be held accountable? In other words, when the going gets tough, will you represent your party or constituents?”

Horne: “I will say this I make up my own mind for what I do, and it maybe sometimes involves the community and sometimes I will go against even our Premier. I have done that in the battle over the quarry, and I will still be supporting the people opposed to it. I will use my sense of what I believe in to make my decision.

“If a dozen people are against something it doesn’t mean I’m not for them or against them. I don’t feel I will be dropped or left out of government on one issue only (like the teachers one). I still strongly believe we have done the right thing to improve the lives of Nova Scotians.”

Laker: (Reader Question) “What are the candidates’ views on the need for seniors housing in the riding? How do they think the needs are best addressed?”

Horne: “That’s a good question. It’s not an easy answer. In order to keep our seniors here, and we should be keeping our seniors here, we need to have various types of facilities. The problem is land. The problem is not having sewer. Those issues are predominantly in our community. There’s lots of land around, but it’s not divided up for anything but residential.

“I think there will some, especially now that we can call it seniors housing. I didn’t realize until we had the meetings that that meant a lot to the people opposed. They really want to see it specifically for seniors and not have it opened up after they hadn’t filled all the units.”

Laker: (Reader Question) “There are many university students that come home for the summer. What are your goals for providing work for them in the community of Fall River-Beaver Bank? How will you keep them engaged in their community?”

Horne: “That’s a little difficult for me to answer as I don’t know all the programs. There are some large programs from the province and those go out quite early on the website. I had about three pages of jobs given out and there were about half a dozen of them for the local area.

“We do have to attract the students to come back home, and I think most do want to in the summer. There are jobs out there if you really want to work and find them. I think there are ample jobs in the community.”

Laker: “What should people know about you that they don’t know?”

Horne: “I worry a lot about what I do in the community and how it’s done, I want to do it appropriately and the best that I can.

“I used to do a lot of January 1 Polar Bear dips for 10 years locally. I have two daughters, one is in Bedford and the other just moved to Saint John, N.B. after living in Calgary, Alta. for 20 some years. I would have liked for my children to have lived and grow up here in the community.

“The teacher one was stressful. I have a lot of friends that are teachers. I think we’re doing the right thing in government to supervise or make sure things are happening. Unions are necessary, we do need them. I’m not against them, but the teachers we’re very quiet about the system for the last 10 years. I don’t think government knew all of that, and it came out after the first ratification contract, that it was work related. Before, I thought it was all about the money.

“Teachers deserve what they get as far as increases, and the value of their work is extremely important for Nova Scotians. We have to get the best education for our children, and that’s going to happen.

“I think we can fix the system, but it’s going to be expensive.”