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#20: What's happening at bookstores in Pictou County? Interview with Joan Baxter author of 'The Mill' (First episode of Season Two)

The Pulp and Paper Mill at Abercrombie Point at the tip of Boat Harbour in Pictou County is the subject of a new book by Joan Baxter, called ‘The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest’. And it is her book that is at the centre a now-national media story. A signing for her book at a local bookstore was cancelled due to pressure the store was under from what a Chapters/Indigo spokesperson described as concerns that customers' "joyful and safe experience" might be compromised. So today on...

Duration: 00:40:39

INTRODUCING: Govern Yourself Accordingly

Govern Yourself Accordingly is the new weekly Springtide podcast for engaged citizens and public leaders who want to shape the future through politics – with their integrity intact. Subscribe now in Apple Podcasts or wherever you find podcasts.

Duration: 00:11:11

Advice for future MLAs (OS19) - The Final Chapter

This is the final episode in our journey through the experiences of former MLAs. In this episode, we share what we heard when we asked former Nova Scotia MLAs to share the advice they would offer to a future political candidate. This episode is just that, the advice they would give to those who aspire to and have recently won elected office in Nova Scotia.

Duration: 00:31:51

What former MLAs would change about politics (OS18)

By the end of this episode, you’ll hear one very solid recommendation that was echoed by a number of MLAs from various parties. While this recommendation was by no means a consensus amongst former MLAs, nobody told us that it wasn’t worth trying. And in politics, an idea like that rare.

Duration: 00:32:55

One Government Place (OS17)

In this episode, we unpack how a meeting of the Nova Scotia Cabinet works. We explore the tension between Cabinet and the Premier's Office, and how the Premier's offices has grown to wield more and more power from the days of John Savage and John Hamm to those of Darrell Dexter and Stephen McNeil. Share this episode using the shortlink: Go to and get 50% off your meal-kit box from this episode's sponsor, Hello Fresh. Or use promo-code...

Duration: 00:41:04

Ministers (OS16)

This week, we’ll unpack how a minister’s office works, and dig into: - how people who held that office who we spoke to approached making decisions, and the kind of decisions they had to make. - how they did (or did not) involve caucus in their decision making, and - how the rest of Cabinet and the Premier’s office would be involved in decisions. Share this episode using the shortlink: Go to and get 50% off your meal-kit box from...

Duration: 00:24:54

How a Government vs Opposition MLA gets things done (OS15)

Just how exactly does an MLA get anything done at Province House? In this, and the next few episodes of the Off Script podcast, we’re going to explore the nitty gritty of who has what kind of power to make things happen within the governmental structures at, and around, province house in Nova Scotia. We begin by exploring how an MLA on either side of the house can get something done. Share this episode using the shortlink: Go to and...

Duration: 00:24:12

The Future of the Senate: Sens. Wanda Thomas Bernard & Grant Mitchell

On this episode, we’re sharing talks from two members of the Canadian Senate: Senators Grant Mitchell (Alberta) and Wanda Thomas-Bernard (Nova Scotia). Both talks are an excerpt from a larger event called “Independent or Partisan? The Future of the Canadian Senate” held by the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Dalhousie, as a part of their Policy Matters speaker series. Watch the full event on YouTube here: Learn more about the Policy Matters...

Duration: 00:28:27

Perspectives on Ivany: Danny Graham & Karen Foster

On this specioal episode of the Off Script podcast, we’re sharing two diverse perspectives on the Ivany report, drawn from a discussion held by the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy at Dalhousie. The discussion was called “All for One Nova Scotia? Perspectives on the Ivany Report”. The first speaker is Karen Foster. Karen is a professor in the department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University, and the author of Productivity and Prosperity: An Historical Sociology...

Duration: 00:23:45

Our House

This week: we explore the dynamics of the Nova Scotia Legislature People always seem to draw comparisons between politicians and school children when they visit the House. We have a couple of stories that relate to that: We'll also hear from: Share this episode using the shortlink: Support the podcast: Rate and review the podcast in iTunes:

Duration: 00:25:36

Andrew Younger: becoming an indepedent MLA and prioritizing policy-making

Andrew Younger is the only former MLA we’ve interviewed who sat as an independent. In our interview Andrew describes some of the unsung, unknown advantages of being an independent in Nova Scotia politics. He also tells us what he’s up to now, and talks about how he organized his constituency office to allow him to focus on policy-making. Share this episode using the link: Support the podcast: Rate and...

Duration: 00:28:45

The press gallery talks about the special relationship between the media and politicians in Nova Scotia (OS13)

We spoke with members of the press gallery at province house to hear what they had to say, about what MLAs had to say about them.

Duration: 00:32:40

Ex-MLAs talk about the special relationship between the media and politicians in Nova Scotia (OS12)

We never set out to ask MLAs about their relationship with the media, but it was a topic that came up regularly when we asked them one question in particular.

Duration: 00:28:47

The legislature returns, and a new podcast series

Next week the legislature returns, and next month we'll have a new podcast series. Sign up for an update when the new podcast launches:

Duration: 00:05:16

SE #27: Party discipline is ‘political immaturity’ - Interview with Howard Epstein

Howard Epstein was elected seven consecutive times to serve his constituents on the Halifax peninsula. Twice as a municipal councillor and five times as an MLA. Howard, an NDP member, was not afraid to speak out when he felt the party was not living up to it's principles. We talk about the realities of speaking out against one's own party and his life and career in Nova Scotia politics.

Duration: 00:51:17

SPECIAL NEWS: Our next podcast series

In the near future, Springtide will be launching a new podcast: a brand new series completely separate from politics. The trouble is, we're evenly split on what to call the podcast, and the people we've asked for feedback are equally split. We have two options, and we'd like you to listen to each to let us know what you think.

Duration: 00:04:55

SE #25: "Courtesy isn't always reciprocated' - Michele Raymond

This week, we share our interview with Michelle Raymond, who is a former NDP MLA for the riding of Halifax Atlantic. She served from 2003 to 2012. Michelle held a relatively low profile during her career as an MLA - she served on the backbenches of the NDP government - but she had plenty of strongly stated, and eloquently delivered thoughts on the state of politics, and the life of an MLA. Some of the things I chatted about in my interview with her included: - what it means to be an...

Duration: 00:48:29

SE: #25 - George Archibald: "[The other side] is not Attila the Hun"

George Archibald was the seventh generation of the Archibald family to serve in the Nova Scotia legislature. His time in the legislature spanned two decades (the 80s and 90s). In this interview with Louise Cockram from the Off Script team, he describes some of the dramatic changes he observed over the length of his career at the legislature, some of the lighter moments of being an MLA, and the importance he saw in working with the other side.

Duration: 00:54:12

SE #24: Francene Cosman: "I get the fire in my belly"

Francene has worn many political hats in her day: first Mayor of Bedford, PC Party Candidate, Liberal Party Executive Director, Liberal MLA and Minister of Community Services just to name a few of them. Here's our extended interview with Francene where she talks about winning a hotly contested nomination meeting, the sometimes tense challenges of sitting in the speaker's chair, and maintaining her own independence when she was uncomfortable with the direction of her party.

Duration: 00:49:03