Q35. How can I contact my MLA when he or she is in the chamber?

Best way is to send them a note via a page


A35. There are several ways to contact your MLA, even when they’re sitting at their desk at Province House.

The one complete no-no is for an MLA to answer their phone while sitting in the chamber.

If you’re at Province House, here are your options:

  1. Send your MLA a handwritten note. You can hand the note to one of the pages (the young people wearing snappy black uniforms). There’s usually a page standing in the public gallery (third floor) for this exact purpose. There’s also usually a page standing near the entrance to the chamber (second floor) who’s watching for people with notes. You can send the note on any piece of paper, or you can use the green notepads that you may see lying around.
  2. If you know your MLA’s phone number, send them a text. Most MLAs look at their phone frequently. The only time they’re not allowed to use their phones is during Question Period.
  3. If you know your MLA’s e-mail, send them an e-mail. Depending on how they handle e-mail, they may get it on their phone. Again, they’re not allowed to use their phones during Question Period.
  4. Wait until your MLA leaves the chamber, then you can approach them in a public area.

If you’re not at Province House, you can call Province House and ask to speak to your MLA. Remember that this only works if the House is actually sitting. If it isn’t, your MLA won’t be there. A message will be given to your MLA. They may leave the chamber to speak to you, or they may call you back later, or they may ignore you. It’s up to them.

Remember: Just because the House is sitting doesn’t necessarily mean your MLA will be in their seat.

When the House isn’t sitting, your MLA is most likely to be found at their constituency office. I’ve written a post with tips on how to communicate effectively with your MLA.

Author: Graham Steele

A former MLA in Nova Scotia, currently Professor of Business Law in the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University

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