The Life of a Party

June 28, 2016


This past Saturday in Truro, New Democrats from across the province gathered for our 2016 Policy Convention.

Was this a good day for the democratic life of our Party? Shout it from the rooftops: yes.

Our numbers were substantial–160 or so. Thirty-five Electoral District Associations (EDAs), from Glace Bay to Yarmouth, sent delegates.

There was a strong youth showing–and a highlight of the Convention was the reorganization of the Young New Democrats (YND). Congratulations to newly elected YND co-chairs John Hutton and Vinidhra Vaitheeswaran, and a word of appreciation to outgoing YND co-chair Gwendolyn Moncrieff-Gould.

With an ambitious agenda for this one-day event, things ran remarkably smoothly–thanks in large part to the capable planning and execution of the event by our Party President Bill Matheson, Provincial Secretary Mike Poworoznyk, and a large team of volunteers, including Convention co-chairs Jim Harpell and Moraig MacGillivray. Their efforts prove that it is possible to be both participatory and efficient, even when discussing constitutional amendments and policy proposals, and running elections. No mean feat.

We can all take great pride in what we achieved. We passed 19 policy resolutions. We voted by an overwhelming majority to support the reinstatement of the Film Tax Credit. We opposed the P3 model for the Victoria General hospital, and supported free tuition for community college. We committed ourselves to the advancement of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations. We decided to bring greater focus to supporting the wellbeing of transgender Nova Scotians. We resolved to advocate for measures to reduce income inequality. We voted to strengthen our policies that aim to defend our damaged forests.

The full list of adopted policy resolutions will be made available soon. I am grateful for the hard and thoughtful work of the EDAs and Party committees whose contributions made up our original list of 27 resolutions. (And by the way, those that did not make it to the floor of Convention will be debated at upcoming meetings of the Provincial Council.)

In addition to these achievements, we welcomed both new and continuing Table Officers, Executive Members at Large, Council Members at Large, and Standing Committee co-chairs. I want to thank Nominating Committee co-chairs Kaley Kennedy and David Wallbridge for reaching out to our membership and recruiting high quality candidates for these roles.

Positive energy; engaged discussions; relationship building; willingness to contribute and lead: these are the life of a Party.

In solidarity and hope,