The Grapevine on Government Special Provincial Election Questionnaire: GEOF TURNER
By Emily Leeson & Emily Kathan
We asked a series of questions to all the candidates from Hants West, Kings North, Kings South, Kings West, and Annapolis. We’ve printed a selection of these questions and answers in The Grapevine. Leading up to the election on May 30, we’ll be sharing online the entire questionnaire as completed by each candidate who took the time to do so.
The answers below were provided by: Geof Turner, Liberal Candidate for Kings North
GV (The Grapevine): What strategies are being used by your campaign to engage potential voters, particularly in demographics with typically low voter turnout? Do you have specific strategies for engaging with youth?
My goal is to connect with people, so that means a combination of approaches. My canvass team and I are visiting our neighbourhoods throughout Kings North, and we’re attending events. We’re also doing traditional advertising and mailing outreach, lawn signs, and extending our efforts using our website and social media channels. We have young adults on our campaign team, and they have positive energy – that’s what seems to appeal to youth.
GV: What do you think might present barriers to higher voter turnout? What is your campaign doing to overcome those barriers?
It’s not always easy to know where and when you can vote, so we’re sharing that information with our supporters. We also have drivers who can help people who need transportation to get to the polling stations, and we can arrange for voting assistance, which can be done in the home.
GV: What’s the most interesting question a constituent has asked you as you’ve been campaigning door to door?
Not a question, really, but a recurring comment – “Are you Reg Turner’s son? You have to be!” My father, who died this fall, was a long-time educator, community volunteer, and Liberal supporter. I had no idea how many lives he touched, and how well he is remembered by the community. It’s meant a lot to me and my mother to hear people share their stories.
GV: How does your daily life differ now that the election has been called?
My days seem longer, and I am talking to a lot more people than I usually do. I’m still up early in the morning, tending to barn chores, having breakfast with my family, and taking a break so we can eat together later at supper time, otherwise I am knocking on doors and attending events. Because I am a letter carrier, walking in
neighbourhoods is routine, being at events is new. There’s also a lot of more reading as our Liberal government makes announcements.
GV: Describe the way you see the relationship between MLAs and the municipal units within their electoral districts. How would you work with towns and counties to further mutual interests?
A positive working relationship is essential for all levels of government. We cannot solve issues and advance new ideas without consultation and understanding, and, in some cases, joint funding. I’m very fortunate, Kings North has strong municipal leadership, some of whom are new to the political scene but came forward in the last election because they care and they wanted to effect change. I can appreciate that, and I know and respect their roles in our riding.
GV: The Valley has a vibrant and growing creative economy. What policies and strategies do you propose to support and expand the arts community at the provincial level?
We all know the arts community in Nova Scotia is vibrant and important to our economy and our quality of life. As an ECMA member, I want to see support for performance and education. Encouraging local music
festivals is a good place to start. I also do background acting in the TV and film industry and I know the Liberal government is working to find ways to improve support so more jobs and investment stay in the province. I’d like to see more government support for telling our stories and helping our communities be film locations. MLAs should also promote the fine arts and our constituency offices are a good place to start by displaying them. Our job is to promote our area – that means the place, the people, and the products. That’s an easy job – all three are impressive!
GV: What are you doing to support and attract young families living and working in rural Nova Scotia?
I have a family that chooses to live and work in rural Nova Scotia and that’s a significant reason I am running to be the MLA for Kings North. A new Liberal government will continue where it left off. Supporting immigration, tax relief for the middle class, incentives for youth employment, help for families to purchase a first home, and providing pre-kindergarten for 4-year-old children.
GV: Will you have time to attend Apple Blossom Festival events this year? What’s your favourite event?
I will certainly be at the Apple Blossom Festival. Our family enjoys the children’s parade, especially since our youngest daughter was the honorary parade marshall a few years’ back after designing the tattoo. And, another favourite event is Boates’ Chicken Barbecue – it’s held at a good family friend’s farm and is a wonderful time to reconnect and support our local community.