Bio, Independent Candidacy, Central Nova

My academic, work and professional background can be viewed in my CV. Please click here to view. I am of the opinion that what is of more importance for my independent candidacy to the voters of Central Nova, is why and how it came about that I lived in Pictou County for several years.

In July, 1999 my wife, Margaret Dyane Haggart-Ronin, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. We were living in Vancouver, she a teacher, me a middle-management hack. We were informed that she had several weeks to live. True to the diagnosis, Dyane passed away on September 27, 1999. She had been born in New Glasgow and wished for her cremated remains to be buried in the family plot at Little Harbour Presbyterian Church.

Prior to flying Dyane’s ashes to Nova Scotia for burial, I had never been east of Montreal. During the week that I was in New Glasgow for the funeral, something “grabbed” me. Whatever that “something” was, I can only liken it to a combination of people and place. When I returned to Vancouver, I started searching properties online and ended up buying a cabin, sight unseen, in River John in March, 2000. Over the next year I sold off most earthly possessions, stitched together a solid exit strategy from my desk job, and made the move to Nova Scotia in September, 2001. The five cats got piled onto a plane and I followed with pick-up truck and trailer.

My little cabin in River John was to be a grand sanctuary for the next several years and the birthplace of Abel’s Canes Company. In the evenings during the first year after Dyane’s death I had started “toying” with the idea of making hand-crafted canes. It kept me somewhat sane and kept the walls at bay. In time, I arrived at the conclusion that I was onto a fairly solid business idea. As it would happen, five days after I arrived in Nova Scotia the world was desecrated with 9/11. The province’s tourism industry has been in decline ever since, not exactly the best business environment for a hand-crafted product. During my first year in Nova Scotia, Abel’s Canes Company generated $16 in revenue (a gas rebate) and three very lovely ribbons (a first, a second, and a third) at the Truro Agricultural Fair.

A blind faith in the product and in its market, coupled with the necessary perseverance, has delivered today a solid recognition for the company not only in Pictou County, but with craft retailers across the Maritimes. (As an eco-libertarian, you should know that even considering applying for any type of government grant is out of the question.) A recent business venture is the launch of Arrowhead Wood Putters. As should be evident, I am not a rich man. I am a simple cane maker.

After several years of living in Pictou County, establishing a business here, and making friends and business acquaintances, the real estate market made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. In the summer of 2006 I sold my cabin in River John. After viewing several properties in Pictou County, the type of property I was looking for I found in Pugwash River, Cumberland County. This is where I now live.

With a couple of years of sweat capital to renovate, I will likely be in a position to sell and move on again, quite possibly back to Pictou County. With the Nova Scotia tourism industry on the ropes (my business is dependent on an “off shore” currency), it has been necessary to develop a business fall-back position. Home renovation for the retirement market is my choice for that contingency. I create my livelihood on a daily basis. No government is responsible for my survival.

Have I been a life-long resident of Pictou County? No, but certainly longer than a 20-minute photo op.

In general, I value my privacy and anonymity. The interpersonal dynamic of suck-holing for political favour nauseates me to no end but, fortunately, I know it’s not about me; it’s about principles and a few ideas. This thing that has been done in Central Nova by May-Dion is such an outrage that something needs to be done to thwart it. My independent candidacy is one effort of possibly several underway to accomplish such.

My in-laws live in Pictou County. I have nurtured a business here. I have friends and business associates here. My wife’s remains are buried in the soil of Pictou County. At some level known only to myself that makes my relationship to the County sacred. As such, I have the right to challenge what I consider to be a political profanity.

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2 Comments

  1. You write very well.

  2. Thank you. I’ll take that as a compliment and ignore that it could be a pitch leading me to Toibloid Insurance. =:-D


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