A recent trip to Ottawa has Nova Scotia MLA Lenore Zann considering a run for an MP’s seat in the next federal election.
“I am interested in possibly going federal,” said the NDP MLA for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River.
Zann has served as the riding’s MLA for almost 10 years, including four as part of the NDP’s majority government.
And while she says she’s happy to continue in her current role, recent events have her considering the possibility of taking a run at the federal level.
“So I think I would be interested in representing the larger riding up in Ottawa. I would love the opportunity to do that,” she said.
Zann was recently in Ottawa where she accompanied Cumberland Colchester MP Bill Casey in a meeting with the Auditor General over the issue of maintaining an RCMP communication centre in Truro.
While there, Zann said, Casey provided her with a tour of Parliament Hill, during which she was given an opportunity to meet with federal members of both the NDP and Liberal parties.
“The truth of the matter is, both parties have expressed an interest in me running in the next election,” she told the Truro News. “So, basically what I’ve said is, thank you and I’m honoured and I will think about it.”
Casey, who has represented his constituents as a Conservative, an independent and now as a Liberal, has announced his intention to retire at the end of the current term.
So far, the only person who has publicly expressed an intention to run for the riding’s Liberal nomination is Casey’s former chief of staff and Truro lawyer Joel Henderson.
No one has yet declared a candidacy to run for the NDP in the Cumberland Colchester riding.
“If I do decide to run federally in the fall of 2019, I believe I would be well prepared to represent the interests of our northern region in Ottawa,” she said. “I’m seriously thinking about it, but this is all kind of new to me.”
Zann said she plans to spend the Christmas holidays focusing on her family and then will be preparing for the start of the next session at Province House, set to begin at the end of February. But early in the new year, she said more thought will be given as to whether she will set her sights on Ottawa.
The other aspect to consider if she does decide to seek a federal nomination, is whether to do so as an NDP or Liberal candidate.
As a long-time NDP supporter, Zann said, she recognizes she has to remain true to her principles. But those principles are also about how she can best represent the area’s constituents.
“If I can do that as a Liberal rather than an NDP then that is something I would consider,” she said.
Zann said she plans to speak with constituents and listen to their responses before making a decision.
“I am thinking I may be able to do more for our riding, the larger riding, if I was to go federal,” she said.
“I just want to reiterate that I have not decided for sure about running federally yet. I may also decide to stay put.”