Grapevine on Government: Candidates and Nominees for Kings-Hants

Grapevine on Government: Candidates and Nominees for Kings-Hants
By Emily Kathan

With a federal election on the horizon, and the February resignation of incumbent MP for Kings-Hants Scott Brison, there’s already a lot happening on the campaign trail in the Valley these days. We contacted all the candidates and nominees for Kings-Hants and asked them some questions about why they think they should be our next representative in Ottawa. While we made every effort to contact all those in the running, we were only able to include those who responded by press time. Responses appear in alphabetical order.

Brogan Anderson, nominee, Kings-Hants, Green Party of Canada

What inspired you to run?
The international panel on climate change has said that we have 12 years to decrease carbon emissions drastically to prevent runaway climate change. The Green Party has sound economic and social policies to lead us through that transition. We need fresh, diverse voices in Ottawa, and I would like to be one of them.

What role do you think a Federal MP in Ottawa should or can play in the growth of the arts community in Kings-Hants?
Lots! The Green platform includes committing stable long-term and increased funding to CBC; increased funding to arts & culture organizations such as Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm, publishers, and theatres; and establishing stable base funding for community arts programs and facilities as a set percentage of the federal budget.

What’s your favourite Valley event?
Three faves: the Literacy Mile in Kentville every May, the Annapolis Valley Honour choir concerts, and the Sunday night movies at the Al Whittle in Wolfville.


Kody Blois, nominee, Kings-Hants, Liberal Party of Canada

What inspired you to run?
My community involvement inspired me to run. I am passionate about creating vibrant communities, and I have been working to achieve that through founding and leading various non-profit organizations. I want to be able to focus more of my time on serving those from my communities on a larger scale. I think serving the people and communities of Kings-Hants every day would be an absolute privilege.

What role do you think a Federal MP in Ottawa should or can play in the growth of the arts community in Kings-Hants?
One of my local priorities as a nomination candidate is increasing access to sport, recreation, and the arts. My background in sport gave me the confidence, skill set, and experience to contribute in my community and workplace. The arts provide purpose and key life lessons for those involved, while contributing to the overall well-being and culture of a community. My goal would be to work with the arts community in connecting them to federal programming and resources while showcasing the local talent.

What’s your favourite Valley event?
It’s cliché, but for me it will always be the Apple Blossom Festival. The entire event is a true celebration of community. It brings the people of Kings-Hants together while attracting others to our doorstep. The Apple Blossom Festival is what inspired me to create Tide Fest, an annual homecoming event that occurs in July in East Hants.


Meg Cuming, nominee, Kings-Hants, Liberal Party of Canada

What inspired you to run?
I care deeply about the community and I am passionate about public service. As a community developer, and a lawyer, I understand the needs of the riding and can advocate effectively for our shared interests and goals. I want to put my skills to work for the people of Kings-Hants.

What role do you think a Federal MP in Ottawa should or can play in the growth of the arts community in Kings-Hants?
Federal support for the arts is essential. We have a rich and varied artistic community within the riding. I think that the Federal MP plays an important role in ensuring that our artists, and artist organizations, are properly funded, promoted, and celebrated both at home and abroad.

What’s your favourite Valley event?
It’s hard to pick a favourite Valley event. Thanks to our thriving arts community, there is an abundance of art, music, theatre, and more. I love the excitement around Devour and Deep Roots but my soft spot is for Fezziwigs, which my son and I participate in together every year.


Pauline Raven, nominee, Kings-Hants, Liberal Party of Canada

What inspired you to run?
My honest answer: it just felt right. It’s like deciding to give blood or to join the Terry Fox Run. You don’t think your way into it. You do it because you know it’s the right thing to do. Taking my love of community “inside government” [as a municipal councillor] seven years ago has led me here.

What role do you think a Federal MP in Ottawa should or can play in the growth of the arts community in Kings-Hants?
To define arts broadly and to regularly consult and vigorously support the volunteer boards that drive the arts in Kings-Hants. Super important is attending events to remain inspired by our talented artists and performers. Your MP must be in an active relationship with community leaders to bring funds home for the arts.

What’s your favourite Valley event?
The Hants County Exhibition, hands down! I love its long, successful, fun-filled history. There’s personal history too. My husband (Gerry Cudmore, aka “the Village Stripper,” furniture refinisher) was at our 1977 small business booth when my labour for our firstborn began. We’ve celebrated Dorion’s birthday at the exhibition many times since.


Stephen Schneider, candidate, King-Hants, New Democratic Party of Canada

What inspired you to run?
As a criminologist, I have long been interested in developing policies that address the root causes of crime. I also want to use my background in community planning to promote sustainable economic development for Kings-Hants. Perhaps most importantly, I am motivated to run to help sound the alarm bells over climate change.

What role do you think a Federal MP in Ottawa should or can play in the growth of the arts community in Kings-Hants?
I believe the Kings Hants MP should advocate for federal funding for the local arts community. As the MP, I would place particular emphasis on funding and other support for projects that celebrate the cultures of marginalized communities in the riding (the Mi’kmaq, African-Nova Scotians, Acadians).

What’s your favourite Valley event?
My favourite events tend to centre around music and music festivals. I am a big fan of the blues so I love attending the Smokin’ Blues Fest. I am also a regular at the Deep Roots Music Festival in Wolfville.