Bill Black

Former Maritime Life CEO Bill Black was widely considered the front runner to replace outgoing NS Premier John Hamm as Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia leader.

His rivals Rodney MacDonald and Neil LeBlanc were seen as handicapped by lack of business background on the scale Black enjoys. However, LeBlanc had direct experience in government. On February 11, 2006, McDonald was elected on the second ballot.

Black's web

personal background

Some believe Black was inspired by NL Premier Danny Williams, another successful businessman who entered politics despite little experience to lead the PCs of that province.

In a babble thread, official agents of Black's campaign answered some questions about him. His daughter wrote that:
  • "My father has bought coffee at Tim Hortons as long as I can remember"
  • "He is William A. Black the 8th (A stands for Anderson (my brother Anthony is William A(nthony) Black the 9th.) This traditional family name would normally have been passed to my great-uncle William A. Black's children, but he was tragically killed in World War II while flying with the Canadian contingent along-side the RAF and left no children behind."

positions on issues

On the issues, she noted that "the Halifax Chronicle-Herald "has some info on the shopping issue"

Other positions on Nova Scotia issues as reported by other agents of his campaign include these statements:
  • "I believe in a well-financed system of public health care, where the best care goes to the sickest people."
  • "We must do much better in immigration. Our universities attract many foreign students who can be encouraged to stay. We should allow those students to work off campus while studying and have a longer period after graduation to find a job. We should target market skill sets where we know there will be shortages, such as skilled trades and health care professionals. We should have an efficient process for evaluating and where necessary, upgrading foreign credentials for professionals. And we must use existing immigrant communities to help welcome new arrivals."
  • "We need to reduce our dependence on energy generated by hydro-carbons. In the next while you will hear a statement from us in support of a much increased use of wind energy."
  • "My bias is towards higher minimum wages. However, there is a point at which those become job killers. The trick is to find the right balance point. "

weak competition

In debates, Mr. Black has apparently been less clear and less well briefed. He has "pitched the idea that MLAs deserve a raise" and apparently was poorly briefed on Cape Breton issues, in a debate there he several questions with "I don't know enough on the topic to answer the question."

This prompted one party member to ask if he has "the political smarts to do the job. We don't have time for on the job training."

Apparently however the competition is not stiff. In response to the question "what would you do as premier to reduce the dependence on food banks by Nova Scotians"? according to one babble observer:

"All three offered half hearted fumbling replies. Bill Black was up front in admitting he had no clue what to do about this problem. Equally lame was Neil LeBlanc who offered an anecdote about his wife advising him that he can't fix everyone's problems. Rodney MacDonald didn't seem to put any thought into the causes or consequences of this social problem either."

"Even the average person who would be stopped on the street would have the sense to know that raising the minimum wage in NS would reduce the numbers of food bank users."