News release

Province Encourages Civic Engagement Through Workshops, Website

With municipal elections set for October, the province is supporting Nova Scotians who want to get involved by hosting workshops this spring throughout the province.

The workshops will cover topics of interest to voters and potential municipal candidates.

"Serving in public office has its challenges and rewards," said John MacDonell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "When people get actively involved in civic government, municipalities benefit from their commitment and experience, and people get satisfaction knowing that they are making our communities better places to live."

The dates and locations of the free workshops will be posted at www.ns-municipal-elections.ca/ when they are available.

"If running for office is not something you want to do, you can still provide input directly to government and have your say on important questions by joining the Nova Scotia Online Forum at www.forumns.ca," said Mr. MacDonell. "The forum helps government to better understand people's opinions and needs through surveys sent to members of the online panel."

The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, with the province, will also host five municipal campaign schools for women to encourage more women to seek municipal office.

"Women make up over 50 per cent of Nova Scotia's population, but only 21 per cent of our municipal councils," said Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities president Jimmy MacAlpine, deputy warden for the District of Digby. "This needs to change. Offering campaign schools for women is one way to achieve this goal."

The goal of the spring workshops is to encourage more people to run for office and increase voter turnout, which averaged about 40 per cent in the last municipal election, with a large number of acclamations.

"We want to create knowledgeable and engaged citizens and encourage people to run for office or serve on committees of council," said Jack Novack, professor, College of Continuing Education, Dalhousie University. "People thinking about running for council, working on an election campaign, becoming more involved in their community or those simply wanting to learn more about municipal government will find these workshops valuable and enjoyable."

For more information, or to sign up for workshops, go to www.ns-municipal-elections.ca/ .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province is supporting Nova Scotians who want to get involved in civic government by hosting a series of workshops for voters and potential candidates this spring.

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations minister John MacDonell is encouraging people to get involved in this year's municipal election.

For more information, or to sign up for workshops, go to w-w-w dot n-s hyphen municipal hyphen elections dot c-a .

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Media Contacts:

Celeste Sulliman
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-6336 E-mail:
Lyle Goldberg
Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities 902-240-8519 E-mail:
Jack Novack
Dahousie University 902-494-6478 E-mail: