Premier Iain Rankin, left, and Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston bump elbows at a Halifax Chamber of Commerce pre-election event in Halifax on Aug. 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Premier Iain Rankin, left, and Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston bump elbows at a Halifax Chamber of Commerce pre-election event in Halifax on Aug. 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Nova Scotians head to the polls today as midsummer election campaign draws to a close

28 seats are needed to secure a majority

HALIFAX — Nova Scotians are heading to the polls today following a midsummer election campaign that was waged as the province started to emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The incumbent Liberals, led by 38-year-old Iain Rankin, tried to capitalize on post-pandemic optimism while preaching fiscal conservatism.

His party, which he took over after replacing Stephen McNeil as leader in February, has been in power since 2013.

The Progressive Conservatives, led by chartered accountant Tim Houston, tried to set themselves apart by unveiling a big-spending platform focused on improving the health-care system.

The New Democrats, led by United Church minister Gary Burrill, campaigned on a traditionally progressive platform that called for a $15 minimum wage, 10 paid sick days for all workers and rent control.

A total of 28 seats are needed to secure a majority in the province’s newly expanded 55-seat legislature.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2021.

Nova Scotia