George Canyon made a return visit to the Norfolk County Fair on Friday night as part of the fair’s Country Music Smash Up show. (KIM NOVAK/SIMCOE REFORMER)
OTTAWA — One of Nova Scotia’s best-known country music stars is walking on to the political stage.
George Canyon has announced he’s running as a Conservative candidate in the riding of Central Nova in the upcoming federal election.
His name was added to the Tory roster after existing candidate Roger MacKay dropped out this week, for what he said were “personal reasons.”
Canyon has won several Juno and Canadian Country Music Association awards for his work, and currently sings the national anthem at Calgary Flames games.
While his star is sure to add to the Conservative shine for this election, the riding is well acquainted with being a home for political stars.
Brian Mulroney ran from there to get a seat in the House of Commons after becoming leader of the Progressive Conservatives in the 1980s, and for over a decade it was home to Peter MacKay, who served as a cabinet minister in Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.
Green party Leader Elizabeth May also attempted a run for the seat in 2008, but lost to MacKay.
He held the riding until stepping down ahead of the 2015 election, and the seat fell into the hands of Liberals as part of a red sweep of the Atlantic provinces.
But the Tories count Central Nova among the seats they intend to recapture this fall, thanks in part to what they say are candidates with strong ties to the area, including three local members of the Nova Scotia legislature.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has made multiple stops in the Atlantic provinces already this summer, and for his part, Canyon said he’s eager to get going.
“Over the next nine weeks, I’m going to wear the soles out of my boots as I work hard to show people here the type of representative and advocate I will be for them.”
The federal election takes place on Oct. 21.