By Dee Dwyer
If a teacher asked what I did on my summer holiday, my short answer would be I ran for the NDP in a provincial election for Eastern Shore and enjoyed it immensely.
It started with a letter to the editor about the lack of transparency about the secret sale of Owl’s Head Provincial Park and the proposed new school for East Chezzetcook. The letter was published in the Cooperator, May 2021. I then received a call from the New Democratic Party: would I run as a candidate for them? I decided to take on this challenge, and put my energy, enthusiasm, and determination into running a campaign.
Friends new and old and family volunteered to help, becoming my team: office and campaign managers, social media team, sign team, phone and door-to-door canvassers & scrutinizers, and helpers providing drives to the polls for those who needed them. A good friend who is a photographer took photos of me. I consulted with another good friend, my fashion consultant, about what to wear for the shoot. About a week later the photos appeared on large signs and on smaller lawn signs. My teams met once a week and put the ‘party’ in NDP by having great potlucks.
I researched, read policy, read more policy, asked and answered questions. I reread the Vision Platform: our bible and digested it in a few sittings. I wrote to do lists and woke early to respond to emails and messages.
Then my first debate was on August 5, hosted by the Porter’s Lake Business Association. I assessed the issues that would be addressed, the questions I would be asked. Nervous, I arrived at the hall and relaxed as I met the hosts, took a few breaths, and took my seat to speak to the audience.
I took part in another debate in Port Dufferin on August 10, and in Musquodoboit Harbour on August 11 hosted by the Musquodoboit Harbour & Area Chamber of Commerce and Civic Affairs. I was interviewed by Sheet Harbour Radio. Many groups and individuals sent me questions online, which I happily answered. Once the debates were over, I concentrated on the final week of canvassing, traveling to many communities in the riding, east and west, and talking to folks about the issues important to them.
Next thing I knew it was Election Night and my team and I gathered at a friend’s house to watch the results. The numbers came in too slowly. I assessed the CBC show and thought that the hosts could have talked more about the issues to provide more meaningful content. I didn’t hear them mention Owl’s Head and I wonder why, since it has become an issue around the province.
The election results showed that I received a good number of votes, so my team and I were pleased. I want to thank Kevin Murphy for his eight years as our MLA, and I wish Kent Smith all the best as our new MLA.
Most of all, I want to thank all those who supported me with votes, lawn signs, with their help and moral support. I want to thank all those who I spoke with and all those who voted. If you didn’t vote, please do so in the next election. I enjoyed meeting and speaking with all of the residents of The Eastern Shore, a great place to live.