Latest news: * * On June 24, 2019, Progressive Conservative party leader Tim Houston announced that Alana Paon (Cape Breton–Richmond) would no longer sit as a member of the PC caucus. She will sit as an independent MLA. Party standings in the House are now Liberal 27, Progressive Conservative 17, New Democratic Party 5, independent 2.* * On June 18, 2019, Steve Craig (Progressive Conservative) won the by-election in Sackville Cobequid.* * On June 9, 2019, MLA Lenore Zann (Truro–Bible Hill–Millbrook–Salmon River) announced she would leave the NDP caucus to sit as an independent.* * The Spring 2019 sitting ended on April 12, 2019.* *
You can browse this Citizens’ Guide from top to bottom simply by scrolling down. If you’re looking for something specific, I recommend using the Search function. If you’re looking for something more general, the Categories list is likely the best starting point. You might find the category “Advice for Citizens” especially useful, because it includes tips on communicating with your MLA, making a presentation to the Law Amendments Committee, and having an impact on the annual budget. The posts on the law-making process and the budget-making process are also good starting points. They will lead you deeper into this Citizens’ Guide via the links. There’s also a post on all the vocabulary, because the legislature uses a lot of jargon, acronyms and slang.
I’m going to keep building this Citizens’ Guide in response to events and your questions. If you send me your questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. Factual questions only, please. I won’t answer questions that are partisan, or that are about specific individuals, or that require speculation or opinion. To keep this Citizens’ Guide manageable, I’ll answer questions only about how the legislature works, and not about politics, elections or government in general.
Every question about the legislature is a good question. If you’ve been wondering something about the legislature, then chances are that lots of other people are wondering the same thing.
I started this Citizens’ Guide in December 2016 because of a startling political event. That event is behind us now, but the need remains for a good explainer.
To be an effective citizen, you have to know how decisions are made. The legislature is part of the decision-making process, yet most Nova Scotians know very little about what really goes on there. Because I’ve been hanging around the legislature since 1998, I have a pretty good sense of how it really works. This Citizens’ Guide is my way of sharing my experience.