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#29: [LIVE] Engaging the Disengaged (A podcast episode for the already engaged)

We all know the importance of getting more people engaged in elections, politics, and civic life, but it can be challenging to know how to do so effectively. Mark moderated a panel discussion between three Halifax-based activists as a part of an event hosted by Springtide called "Engaging the Disengaged - A Workshop for the Already Engaged". - Jalana Lewis is a Social Justice Lawyer who is passionate about championing voices that aren’t often heard. She was the campaign manager for Halifax...


#28: How Halifax cyclists won a 1.5km protected downtown bike lane

Last Tuesday, Halifax municipal councillors voted in favor of approving a 1.5 kilometer stretch of protected bike lane on South Park Street in Halifax. Today on the podcast, Mark speaks with Kelsey Lane who is the executive director of the Halifax Cycling Coalition (HCC). The HCC has been leading the charge for more (and better) bike lanes in Halifax. We talk about the changes coming to South Park Street, and (as we often do) we explore the ‘how’ of what happened. We unpack the kind of...


#27: How to serve the public on a dying school board | Interview with Cindy Littlefair HRSB Member

On Thursday March 1st - the Nova Scotia Government is expected to introduce its education reform bill that will dissolve all English Language School boards in the province. Cindy Littlefair is one of the members of the Halifax Regional School Board grappling with the challenge of how to serve the public in the dying days of School Boards in Nova Scotia. In this episode of the podcast we speak with Cindy about this. We use the remarks she shared at last week's HRSB meeting as a starting...


#26: PEI PC Leader wants to change the way the legislature works

On January 25th, PEI Progressive Conservative Leader James Aylward released a discussion paper about the need to reform the way that the Prince Edward Island legislature works. It's a topic that is unlikely to catch the attention of many newsreaders on the best of days, but we think it's an important one, so one month after the fact we're bringing him onto the show to talk about it. Read the discussion paper. Share this episode using the shortlink:...


Special Episode - The Effective Citizen with Graham Steele

This week we're sharing an episode from our other podcast, Govern Yourself Accordingly. - Most of us have not sat in the backrooms of politics, the places where decisions are really made. But today’s guest on the Govern Yourself Accordingly podcast has. And, he’s done the rest of us a favour - especially those of us who try to have an impact on the decisions being made in our communities, states, provinces, and countries. Graham Steele is the former finance minister for Nova Scotia....


#25: Justin Trudeau’s Criticisms of Proportional Representation vs. Actual Research

It’s been just over a year since Justin Trudeau’s government announced it would not be pursuing its platform commitment to make the 2015 federal election the last Canadian election held using first-past-the-post. This week we compare what Justin Trudeau and others have been saying about proportional representation with what the research says about countries that use proportional systems. Matt Risser (@mattrisser) joins us to unpack how systems of proportional representation work in other...


#24: #MeToo hits Canadian Politics: Interview with Michelle Coffin

This week we’re talking about the power women in Canadian politics have begun to wield over the last seven days. Michelle Coffin joins the show to help us unpack last weeks news, including the sudden resignation of Nova Scotia PC Party Leader, Jamie Baillie. Michelle shares some of her personal experiences from her time in politics, and we explore what the broader implications of the #MeToo movement hitting Canadian politics. Michelle worked for several different leaders of the Nova...


Special Episode - Flying Solo and Representing Yourself: Interview with Gabor Lukacs

We're taking this week off from producing Off Script while we focus on some planning for the upcoming year. In the meantime, here's an episode from our other podcast, Govern Yourself Accordingly. It’s not often you hear of someone who is not a lawyer representing themselves in a federal court. It’s even less often that you hear of someone who has done so more than a dozen times. And won. Gabor Lukacs has been taking airlines to court and filing regulatory complaints with the Canadian...


#23: Trudeau's Town Halls, PEI's Cabinet Shuffle and an interview with Nova Scotia MLA Lisa Roberts

This week on the podcast we try something new. In addition to this week’s feature interview with Halifax-Needham MLA, Lisa Roberts, we add a new segment where we unpack stories in Atlantic Canadian politics with a rotating co-host. This week, Lisa Buchanan (also co-host of LOL UR GAY - A Gay Comedy Podcast) joins Mark as co-host to help him unpack some of the stories of Atlantic Canada politics last week. In the first half-hour of podcast (0:00 - 28:00), Mark and Lisa explore the...


#22: PEI's Most Popular Politician: An Interview with Peter Bevan-Baker

The PEI Green Party has experienced unprecedented success over recent years, and on this episode of On the Record, Off Script Mark speaks with the party's leader to learn more about what's happening behind the scenes in the party. In the 2015 general election, Peter earned the party its first seat. In late November of 2017, Green candidate Hannah Bell won the by-election in Charlottetown-Parkdale to earn the party its second seat. Bevan-Baker has been Islanders top choice for Premier in...


Raw Audio - CBRM Council - December 14th 2017

A companion piece to today's Off Script podcast. Raw feed from CBRM council floor.


#21: What happened last week at CBRM council? Feat. Interviews with Tom Urbaniak and Coun. Amanda McDougal

Last week’s meeting of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality council was nothing routine or ordinary, especially for Mayor Cecil Clarke and Councillor Amanda McDougall. Members of council knew what was coming at the end of the meeting, but anyone who was watching would have been caught by surprise by what happened for the final half-hour of the meeting. On this week's episode of On the Record, Off Script we're going to take a deep dive into all that happened in those last thirty minutes of...


#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...


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.


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.


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.


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...


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...


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...


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...


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