Merydie Ross hopes she will succeed as a New Democrat in a riding she helped a Liberal candidate win in 2013.
On April 27, Ross announced plans to seek the NDP nomination in Lunenburg West. As of the time of this writing, she is not contested and a meeting to finalize the nomination has not been set.
Ross was in charge of campaign canvassing in the effort to elect Mark Furey in Lunenburg West for the Liberals in 2013. Furey won and served as a cabinet minister in the McNeil government. After successful re-election in 2017, Furey is not seeking the seat again whenever the next provincial election is called.
Ross also served as a canvasser during Justin Trudeau's Liberal leadership campaign in the early 2010s and as an organizer for the national party in 2015.
"I had some really great experiences and I learned a lot," she said of that period. "As I developed skills in my career, I just became not so involved in politics anymore; that was something I ultimately really missed."
The married 31-year-old grew up and continued to live in the riding in the southwestern area of Lunenburg County. She currently lives in Colchester County as she works as the project fund coordinator for a forum that deals with issues involving Mi'kmaw and provincial and federal governments.
Ross claims that her first attempt at elected office is spurred by a desire to solve complicated issues which, in her view, have not been property addressed. Poverty, climate change and various vulnerabilities in the health care system were among items she has underlined.
"I've dedicated my skills and my service working with communities to develop community-based solutions on a variety of topics," she told LighthouseNOW during a phone interview. "I would like to continue those contributions and give back to my community in a new way." She plans to move back to the riding.
"I think the pandemic itself has highlighted so many social safety net gaps that have gone unaddressed in various ways for a long time, and now they're glaring. It's time we get to work on those things."
She said the NDP have shown to her it has taken those issues to heart and tabled relevant bills in an effort to affect change.
She was attracted to a post-Harper Conservative era built on hope, but became "disappointed in some of the lack of action on issues that I feel still continue to [impact] our communities while our Liberal government has been in place provincially and federally."
Hebbs Cross resident Jennifer Naugler, the owner of a small social media company and a former school board member who also unsuccessfully sought the federal Liberal nomination in 2014, is the Grits' candidate in Lunenburg West. Her uncontested nomination was confirmed in late April.
Ross said professional and personal background, experiences and skills will differentiate her candidacy from Naugler's.
As of the time of this writing, the Progressive Conservatives does not have a confirmed candidate in Lunenburg West.
Ross said she wants to have conversations with citizens about their lived experiences.
"When you take the time to do that, you're hearing the realities of somebody's day-to-day life and that is reflective of the challenges we're facing," Ross noted. "There are so many ways we can find common ground on those issues."