An approaching provincial election hasn’t been confirmed, but political hopefuls in Halifax Needham are already shooting for the stars. One of those candidates is filmmaker Paul Kimball, who announced his campaign last week for the riding’s Progressive Conservative nomination after being told he couldn’t run for the New Democrats.
Kimball says he originally put his name forward with the NDP to run for Maureen MacDonald’s vacant seat in the Legislature, but was disqualified as a candidate because of his writings about Progressive Conservative MLAs and his interest in the paranormal.
An open letter by Kimball on the View902 blog says he was vetted at a local level by the NDP, but soon after received a phone call from NSNDP secretary Mike Poworoznyk prohibiting him from running because he could prove “embarrassing” to the party.
“What was so embarrassing, you might ask? What was the deep, dark secret?
“Well the primary reason was that I had written positive things about PC MLA Tim Houston last year when he was going to bat for the film industry, although it’s worth noting that I wrote all sorts of positive things about NDP MLAs who were supporting us as well…
“There was another problem for the head office, less serious than the Houston ‘issue,’ but one which also disqualified me in their eyes—I have an interest in the paranormal as a hobby, stemming from years of work that I did making films for Canadians broadcasters about the subject.”
Kimball has made several documentaries about UFOs and other paranormal events—subjects he has a “scientific and historical” interest in. His Wikipedia page has its own subsection on Kimball’s interest in non-human intelligence and alien visitation.
“In a party led by an ordained minister who presumably believes in a supernatural being, the mind boggles that my scientific and theoretical interest in extraterrestrial life and the various possibilities presented by what we call the ‘paranormal’ would be a cause for concern,” Kimball writes on View902. “Expanding the frontiers of knowledge should be considered a good thing in the 21st century.”Nova Scotia NDP leader Gary Burrill says the decision to prohibit Kimball was based on “inaccurate information." Burrill says that once the situation came to his attention a few days later, he reversed the decision and phoned Kimball seeking forgiveness.
“I apologized to him as completely as I could, on behalf of our party and of myself, that he had been subjected to this experience,” says Burrill.
The NDP leader declined to comment further on the reasonings behind Kimball’s temporary ineligibility.
“The decision itself and the content of the reasoning, I think those are all things that need to remain within the confidentiality of the party,” he says.
Kimball is now one of two filmmakers in HRM ridings who are hoping to enact some #NSFilmJobs karma by running for the Progressive Conservative nomination. John Wesley Chisholm (head of Arcadia Entertainment) is running for the Conservatives in the Halifax Chebucto riding currently represented by Liberal MLA Joachim Stroink.
Africville activist and former regional school board chair Irvine Carvery is also vying for the PC nomination in Halifax Needham against Kimball. The race for the seat is wide open, after NDP MLA Maureen MacDonald’s retirement earlier in 2016 after 18 years representing the riding.
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