Dave Wilson (Cape Breton politician)

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David Wilson
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia
In office
July 27, 1999 – March 11, 2010
Preceded by Reeves Matheson
Succeeded by Geoff MacLellan
Constituency Glace Bay
Personal details
Born (1955-11-04) November 4, 1955 (age 61)
Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Nancy McPherson
Occupation radio and television journalist

Harold David "Dave" Wilson (born November 4, 1955) is a former Canadian politician and radio personality. He represented the electoral district of Glace Bay in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1999 to 2010. He was a member of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party. He resigned his Glace Bay seat on March 11, 2010, amid controversy, refusing to meet with the provincial auditor general about his MLA expense claims.[1]

Prior to entering politics, Wilson worked in the Cape Breton media for 24 years. He worked for 950 CHER radio, CTV Television, and CJCB Radio, where he hosted the popular "Talkback" radio program.

Political career[edit]

Wilson entered provincial politics by running as the Liberal candidate for Cape Breton East in the 1999 election.[2] Results on election night showed Wilson losing to New Democrat Cecil Saccary by five votes,[3] however a judicial recount on August 17 resulted in Wilson being declared the winner by five votes.[4][5] The NDP appealed the election result to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia,[6] which resulted in the election results being thrown out, and a new election ordered.[7]

A by-election was announced in February 2000,[8] and Wilson was again nominated as the Liberal candidate.[9] On April 4, 2000, Wilson won the by-election, defeating Saccary by 408 votes.[10][11][12] Wilson was re-elected in the 2003,[13] 2006,[14] and 2009 general elections.[15][16]

In September 2016, Wilson announced he would attempt to re-enter politics, running for a seat on Cape Breton Regional Council in the 2016 municipal election.[17][18] On October 15, 2016, Wilson was defeated, finishing third in the district.[19]

Expense scandal[edit]

In 2010, Wilson abruptly resigned his legislative seat after more than 10 years in office. He quit the seat amid auditor general Jacques Lapointe’s investigation into MLA expenses.[20] Lapointe’s review revealed Wilson's expenses were highlighted by a $400 claim he made for patio furniture.[1] Wilson was scheduled to meet with the province's auditor general in February 2010, but instead skipped the meeting, hired a lawyer, and abruptly resigned.[20]

In a statement released on March 12, 2010, Wilson failed to disclose his reasons for resigning, saying only: "I no longer feel that I can fulfill my duties and responsibilities as the Member of the Legislature Assembly for the Constituency of Glace Bay." He added: "I will not be making any further comments at this time and I would ask for your respect for my families privacy."[21]

On February 14, 2011, it was announced that Wilson was among four people facing criminal charges in connection with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation into 2010s MLA expense scandal. Wilson was charged with fraud exceeding $5,000, breach of trust by a public officer, and 31 counts of uttering a forged document.[22][23][24]

On September 13, 2011, Wilson pleaded guilty to one count each of fraud, breach of trust, and uttering forged documents in connection with the spending scandal. The charge of uttering forged documents covers a period stretching from 2006 to 2010 and relates to some 31 incidents of uttering forged expense claims.[25]

In April 2012, Crown prosecutor Andrew MacDonald recommended that Wilson should be jailed for a period of one to two years for defrauding Nova Scotia taxpayers of nearly $61,000 as a way to fuel his "pathological gambling addiction". MacDonald said Wilson’s actions were deliberate and calculated, noting he did not sacrifice his own living standards in securing money to gamble.[26] On April 19, 2012, Wilson was sentenced to nine months in jail and 18 months probation.[27]


Wilson is married and has three children. His son, Dan Wilson, ran in the byelection for his father's vacated Glace Bay seat, as a candidate for the Atlantica Party, but finished last with 56 votes.[28]


  1. ^ a b "Dan Wilson running for dad's Glace Bay seat". CBC News. May 25, 2010. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  2. ^ "Jobs, Matheson hot topics in C.B. East race". The Chronicle Herald. July 10, 1999. Archived from the original on January 24, 2005. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  3. ^ "Two recounts in the works". The Chronicle Herald. July 29, 1999. Archived from the original on January 24, 2005. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  4. ^ "Shelburne recount tie goes to PCs; Grits win C.B. East". The Chronicle Herald. August 18, 1999. Archived from the original on January 24, 2005. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  5. ^ "Election Returns, 1999 (Cape Breton East)" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  6. ^ "NDP to appeal C.B. East recount". The Chronicle Herald. August 25, 1999. Archived from the original on January 24, 2005. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  7. ^ "By-election ordered; Liberals lose key seat". The Globe and Mail. January 26, 2000. 
  8. ^ "Hamm government calls byelection". CBC News. February 25, 2000. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  9. ^ "Same candidates to run in Cape Breton by-election". CBC News. February 21, 2000. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  10. ^ "By-election return 2000 (Cape Breton East)" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  11. ^ "Liberals win in C.B. East". The Chronicle Herald. April 5, 2000. 
  12. ^ "Liberal wins by-election". The Globe and Mail. April 5, 2000. 
  13. ^ "Election Returns, 2003 (Glace Bay)" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  14. ^ "Election Returns, 2006 (Glace Bay)" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  15. ^ "Wilson wins close one in Glace Bay". Cape Breton Post. June 10, 2009. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  16. ^ "Election Returns, 2009 (Glace Bay)" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2014-10-19. 
  17. ^ "Convicted Cape Breton MLA seeks redemption". Cape Breton Post. September 12, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-13. 
  18. ^ "Dave Wilson, former MLA to run for political office in Cape Breton municipality". CBC News. September 13, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-13. 
  19. ^ "Community welcomes Darren Bruckschwaiger back to politics". Cape Breton Post. October 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-16. 
  20. ^ a b "McNeil in dark about MLA's resignation". CBC News. March 12, 2010. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  21. ^ "Dave Wilson's letter". CBC News. March 12, 2010. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  22. ^ "MLA spending probe in N.S. gets 4 charged". CBC News. February 14, 2011. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  23. ^ "Two former Cape Breton MLAs among those facing criminal charges". Cape Breton Post. February 14, 2011. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  24. ^ "RCMP charge four in MLA expense scandal". The Chronicle Herald. February 14, 2011. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Former MLA guilty of fraud, breach of trust and uttering forged documents". Cape Breton Post. September 13, 2011. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  26. ^ "Crown seeks jail for former Cape Breton MLA". Cape Breton Post. April 19, 2012. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  27. ^ "Ex-Nova Scotia MLA jailed over expenses scandal". CBC News. April 19, 2012. Retrieved 2014-10-18. 
  28. ^ "MacLellan wins Glace Bay byelection". Cape Breton Post. June 22, 2010. Retrieved 2014-10-18.