On this episode, we’re sharing talks from two members of the Canadian Senate: Senators Grant Mitchell (Alberta) and Wanda Thomas-Bernard (Nova Scotia).
Both talks are an excerpt from a larger event called “Independent or Partisan? The Future of the Canadian Senate” held by the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Dalhousie, as a part of their Policy Matters speaker series.
On this special episode of the Off Script podcast, we’re sharing two diverse perspectives on the Ivany report, drawn from a discussion held by the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy at Dalhousie.
The discussion was called “All for One Nova Scotia? Perspectives on the Ivany Report”.
The first speaker is Karen Foster. Karen is a professor in the department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University, and the author of Productivity and Prosperity: An Historical Sociology of Productivist Thought.
The second speaker you’ll hear is Danny Graham, who regular listeners to this podcast will know from his time as an MLA and former Liberal Party leader, and now CEO at Engage Nova Scotia.
More on the Policy Matters Speaker Series.
This week on On the Record, Off Script we explore the dynamics of the Nova Scotia Legislature
People always seem to draw comparisons between politicians and school children when they visit the House. We have a couple of stories that relate to that:
- the story of an MLA who refused to give school children tours of the House of Assembly while his colleagues were present;
- a story from a former school teacher who tried her classroom management strategies on her colleagues;
We'll also hear from:
- two people who held down the Speaker's chair; and
- a story form a Cabinet Minister who admired fellow ministers who dodged questions, but tried his best to answer the ones that came his way.
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Andrew Younger is the only former MLA we’ve interviewed who sat as an independent. In our interview Andrew describes some of the unsung, unknown advantages of being an independent in Nova Scotia politics. He also tells us what he’s up to now, and talks about how he organized his constituency office to allow him to focus on policy-making.
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We spoke with members of the press gallery at province house to hear what they had to say, about what MLAs had to say about them.
Episode #12: Ex-MLAs talk about the special relationship between the media and politicians in Nova Scotia
We never set out to ask MLAs about their relationship with the media, but it was a topic that came up regularly when we asked them one question in particular.
Howard Epstein was elected seven consecutive times to serve his constituents on the Halifax peninsula. Twice as a municipal councillor and five times as an MLA. Howard, an NDP member, was not afraid to speak out when he felt the party was not living up to it's principles. We talk about the realities of speaking out against one's own party and his life and career in Nova Scotia politics.
This week, we share our interview with Michelle Raymond, who is a former NDP MLA for the riding of Halifax Atlantic. She served from 2003 to 2012. Michelle held a relatively low profile during her career as an MLA - she served on the backbenches of the NDP government - but she had plenty of strongly stated, and eloquently delivered thoughts on the state of politics, and the life of an MLA.
Some of the things I chatted about in my interview with her included:
- what it means to be an unmanageable candidate and why she wished she’d been one.
- the wealth of information and access available to MLAs, should they choose to use it.
- the false flag of ‘privacy concerns’ that she says is more often used to protect the privacy of failing government agencies than the individuals they’re supposed to be serving.
George Archibald was the seventh generation of the Archibald family to serve in the Nova Scotia legislature. His time in the legislature spanned two decades (the 80s and 90s). In this interview with Louise Cockram from the Off Script team, he describes some of the dramatic changes he observed over the length of his career at the legislature, some of the lighter moments of being an MLA, and the importance he saw in working with the other side.
Francene has worn many political hats in her day: first Mayor of Bedford, PC Party Candidate, Liberal Party Executive Director, Liberal MLA and Minister of Community Services just to name a few of them.
Here's our extended interview with Francene where she talks about winning a hotly contested nomination meeting, the sometimes tense challenges of sitting in the speaker's chair, and maintaining her own independence when she was uncomfortable with the direction of her party.