A former Toronto District School Board supply teacher and hall monitor unseated Nova Scotia’s premier in last week’s Liberals landslide election victory.
Tony Ince, a 2002 York University graduate, upset Darrell Dexter in the Cole Harbour-Portland Valley riding, winning by 21 votes. It was sweet revenge for Ince who lost to Dexter by 4,340 votes in the last elections four years ago.
The father of two acknowledged he was a bit shocked by the result in a riding the New Democratic Party (NDP) held since 1998 when Dexter won the seat from the Liberals.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Ince said after the shock victory. “I am a bit surprised because it was Mr. Darrel Dexter. To take somebody out like that, I said, people would either have to be really angry or I would have to have a lot of rabbit’s feet in my pocket.”
Raised in Halifax’s north end, Ince moved to Toronto to attend university and begin a career in education before heading back home to enrol at Dalhousie University and St. Francis Xavier University where he earned his Bachelor of Education degree this year.
The president of the Cole Harbour Liberal Association and a Department of Community Services counsellor, 55-year-old Ince previously worked as a project co-ordinator with the Black Educators Association, sales representative with Xerox Canada and patient attendant at Victoria General Hospital.
Ordained Christian minister Stephen Gough will join Ince in the legislature after clinching the Sackville-Beaver Bank seat by 104 votes from 28-year-old Mat Whynott who was the youngest ever Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Halifax.
An Ontario resident for several years, 54-year-old Gough has been a transmission technician since 1977. He graduated from Acadia Divinity College three years ago and was ordained in June 2011. The Mount Beulah Baptist Church pastor was a disc jockey on a popular cable radio show – Funk Plaza – in the 1980s.
Ince and Gough were the only Blacks among the Liberals 51 candidates in the elections.
Former Nova Scotia cabinet minister Percy Paris lost his Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank seat by 1,490 votes to Liberal Bill Horne. The former director of Dalhousie University Diversity Initiative resigned as the NDP’s tourism & economic minister last May after being charged with assault and uttering threats against Liberal MLA Keith Colwell in the men’s washroom at the provincial legislature.
Colwell retained the Preston-Dartmouth seat, easily turning back the challenge of Liberal candidate Andrew Cain, a lawyer and Nova Scotia Human Rights commissioner.
The Liberals captured 33 of the 51 seats in last week’s elections, an increase of 22 from the 11 they won at the 2009 polls. The Progressive Conservative party and the NDP won 11 and seven seats respectively.