The Green Party of Nova Scotia is hoping to gain some ground on the South Shore with a mix of two experienced and two enthusiastic rookies vying for votes in Queens and Lunenburg counties when residents head to the polls in the 41st provincial election August 17.
The party just recently filled its roster of candidates, with many of them filing with Elections Canada just prior to the deadline. The party boasts a roster of 42 candidates in the province’s 52 ridings.
In Queens County, rookie Brian Muldoon will carry the torch while Eric Wade will run in Lunenburg West. Provincial Green leader Jessica Alexander will run in Chester-St. Margaret’s, while former leader Thomas Trappenberg will compete in the Lunenburg riding.
The Beach Meadows resident is making his first run as a political candidate, saying he chose the Green Party because it represents what he’s passionate about.
“I like our slogan, There is no Planet B,” he said. “The Green Party represents the environment, climate change and healthy oceans.”
Muldoon is the founder and current chair of the Protect Liverpool Bay advocacy group. Based in Liverpool, its goal is to keep open-pen finfish farms out of the ocean.
Muldoon is also the president of the Healthy Bays Network, a provincial group of stakeholders who hold that as a prime objective as well.
“I have a voice with Protect Liverpool Bay, but that was limited,” Muldoon explained. He told himself the easy thing is to do nothing. “The more difficult thing to do is to run and hopefully have more of a voice to make sure fish farms are not in our waters.”
Prior to retiring to Beach Meadows, he was a business owner selling mobility equipment to help seniors live safely in their own homes.
“I am an enthusiastic individual who represents the community, and I will make sure your voice is heard. I want a seat at the table,” Muldoon commented when asked why people should vote for him.
“Just take a look at Liverpool and Queens County. They don’t want open-pen fish farms, but the province is putting them in whether we like it or not. This community needs a voice, and I’m the right person to give it,” he insisted.
Muldoon added that Nova Scotians need to protect themselves against greedy multinational companies coming in with promises to help improve the province.
“They don’t, and we have to make them accountable. And I think people are starting to see this happen in areas such as open-pen fish farms and Owl’s Head Provincial Park. People are starting to stand up,” he said.
Muldoon joins incumbent Kim Masland (PC), Mary Dahr (NDP) and Susan MacLeod (Liberal) in the race to represent the riding.
Jessica Alexander has taken up the torch as a candidate and leader of the Green Party in Chester-St. Margaret’s.
“I would love to be the first Green MLA in Nova Scotia, and I think if anyone is going to elect a Green it’s going to be in Chester-St. Margaret’s,” she said.
Alexander is no stranger to the political scene. She has previously held positions with the PC Party of Nova Scotia having worked on several campaigns, running as a candidate herself and successfully passing two policy proposals in 2009.
She changed parties to join the Greens in 2014 and has since served in several roles, including as deputy leader with Thomas Trappenberg for the past five years.
The 51-year-old mother of four studied at the University of Alberta and completed her degree in public policy studies from Mount St. Vincent University. She also holds a certificate in Sustainability Leadership from Dalhousie University and studied post-conflict development in the former Yugoslavian country of Kosovo.
“I was equipping myself to do exactly this. After I got involved politically, I just met too many people who didn’t have enough depth of knowledge on what the issues are, and even fewer who knew what they wanted to do about them,” said Alexander.
Her priorities include taking a firm stand against open-pen fish farming and implementing a guaranteed livable income.
“This has been studied around the world, and it’s been shown to be effective at eradicating poverty and we want to implement that in Nova Scotia,” said Alexander.
The Green Party had scheduled a leadership election for August 14, but this was cancelled after the provincial election call. However, as previously planned in case of an election call, Alexander took over leadership (or co-leadership) with candidate Jenn Kang (deputy leader) who is running in West Hants.
Alexander joins Danielle Barkhouse (PC), Jacob Killawee (Liberal), Steven Foster (Atlantica) and Amy Reitsma (NDP) in the race to represent the riding.
Thomas Trappenberg is running for the Greens in the Lunenburg riding.
This marks the 10th provincial or federal election in which he’s participated since joining the party in 2006. For the past five years, he was the party’s provincial leader.
He was also the candidate for the Green Party in the South Shore-St. Margaret’s region in the last federal election in 2019.
Trappenberg stepped down recently, giving way for Alexander to take over.
“I did this long enough that other people needed to take this on,” he said. “I’m so happy Jessica stepped up and I’m happy she is leading in this election.”
Trappenberg was born and raised in Germany and moved to Nova Scotia in 1992. He currently lives in Hatchet Lake.
His main concern going into the election is the climate crisis. He remembers his father, a meteorologist, talking to him about climate change when he was young. He’s also supportive of a guaranteed livable income.
A professor of computer science at Dalhousie, he holds a PhD in physics from RWTH Aachen University and held research positions in Canada, Japan and England. His main research areas are computational neuroscience, machine learning and robotics. He is the author of Fundamentals of Computational Neuroscience and the co-founder of Nexus Robotics and ReelData. He is currently working on applying Artificial Intelligence to several other areas in the food industry and in medical applications.
His competitors in the riding include incumbent Suzanne Lohnes-Croft (Liberal), John Giannakos (Atlantica), Susan Corkum-Greek (PC) and Alison Smith (NDP).
Lunenburg West candidate Eric Wade, who lives in Bridgewater, is taking his first stab at provincial politics. He ran in the municipal election in Bridgewater in 2020 and enjoyed the experience so he thought he would keep trying.
“Some of the issues we came across in the municipal election happened to be provincial issues as well,” he said. “When the Green Party asked me to join, I thought this could be a way I could help out the community.”
The focus for him is to attract more medical professionals by providing them with a community that is active, supportive and forward-thinking. Another priority is offering residents access to better transportation options.
Wade was born and raised in Bridgewater and left for a few years for college and to work as a flight attendant for WestJet, fulfilling a dream to explore other parts of Canada.
He returned to his hometown a few years ago and decided he wanted to make a difference.
“It was a challenge put forward by my father — how we can improve the quality of life and incite change,” he said. “Another reason is to simply serve the community. Serving people is one of the great strengths that I have.”
Wade joins candidates Becky Druhan (PC), Jennifer Naugler (Liberal) and Merydie Ross (NDP).
Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin