Job Posting - Constituency Assistant

Constituency Assistant – MLA, Dartmouth North

Seeking a highly motivated, organized individual to provide constituency support, including casework, communications and public relations, office management, and community outreach. The successful candidate will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, be highly organized and have experience overseeing office management and volunteers.

Description:

The Constituency Assistant provides administrative and other assistance to the elected Member of the Legislative Assembly in Dartmouth North (Susan Leblanc) in carrying out duties to constituents, including communication, public relations and marketing, organization, scheduling, casework, advocacy and other services as appropriate. 

The Constituency Assistant often works alone in the constituency office, and exercises full responsibility for the operation of the office in a manner that provides for efficient workflow and a safe and secure workplace.

Responsibilities:

Casework

• Undertake, investigate and complete constituency casework including:

  • compiling facts based on effective questioning of constituents on issues and investigating appropriate resources.

  • Directing constituents to appropriate resources in community

  • Advocating for constituents to various provincial government departments

  • May include completing forms or applications on behalf of the constituent with their consent.

  • Maintains casework files both physical and electronic, ensuring a fully confidential process of case management and filing that includes a case and contact database.


Communications

• Researching and drafting response to correspondence.

• Writing and editing information for constituency newsletter or information bulletins, advertising and marketing materials.

• Sourcing and implementing delivery of outreach material including coordination of distribution of material

• Initiating, investigating and writing resolutions and Member’s Statements for the MLA to present to the House of Assembly, and preparing formal copies for presentation to constituent or groups of constituents.

• Preparing certificates, congratulatory notes, sympathy cards, etc.

• Researching and drafting speaking notes on behalf of the MLA.

• Creating website and social media content including photos, news, and other items.


Outreach

• Organizing outreach events such as town hall meetings, including producing all necessary promotional and programming materials, booking venues, coordinating with potential attendees and other tasks that may be required.

• Setting up meetings between local groups and individuals with the MLA either inside or outside the office.

• Maintaining MLA calendar of activities including identifying upcoming community events and making recommendations as to MLA attendance based on contact with the constituency office.

• Maintaining relationships with local organizations and groups, including unions, community groups, business associations, student groups, parent school associations, religious organizations.

• Attending community meetings or activities within the constituency with or on behalf of the MLA.

• Attending to other tasks assigned by the MLA relating to maintenance of positive community relationships within the constituency, including identification of issues of concern in the constituency.

Office Management

• Manages and monitors the MLA's Constituency Budget allocated by the House of Assembly Management Commission and assists in the preparation of the MLA constituency expense claim.

• Maintains constituency office with the objective of providing an efficient and orderly workplace.

Qualifications:

• Excellent interpersonal skills.

• Excellent organizational and time management skills, including a keen attention to detail.

• Strong written and verbal communication skills, including experience drafting, formatting and editing office correspondence, promotional materials, and speeches.

• Effective communication, customer service, problem solving and decision-making skills.

• Ability to work well independently as well as within a multi-disciplinary team environment. Experience working in an office environment without direct supervision is preferred.

• Knowledge of government and community-based services, community groups and organizations, and local publications.

• Knowledge of current issues impacting the constituency of Dartmouth North.

• Proficiency in MS Office (Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint), internet, email, and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

• Experience working with database software, particularly on the Populus platform, considered an asset.

• Reside in the constituency of Dartmouth North or has direct personal knowledge of constituency, including knowledge of local groups and organizations.

• Ability to travel within constituency to carry out job-related responsibilities as required.

• Grade 12, plus two years experience managing a small office environment with little to no supervision.


Compensation

$43,600 to $54,600, depending on qualifications and experience, as determined by the Office of the Speaker.

35 hours/ week with 15 days vacation annually and cost-shared benefits

Closing date: No later than 5pm, Monday, July 1st, 2019


Send resume and cover letter by e-mail to susanleblancMLA@bellaliant.com with the subject line “Dartmouth North CA”


Susan Leblanc’s MLA office practices employment equity. Women, African Nova Scotian persons, Indigenous persons, racialized persons, persons with disabilities, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons are encouraged to apply for this position. If you are a member of an equity-seeking group, you may choose to identify as such in your cover letter.


Climate Action Now!

What do you think about when you hear the words global warming or climate change? Maybe you feel a terrible sense of dread (we are killing our planet and there is nothing that can be done) or maybe it’s more of a feeling of “meh” (the earth is warming, but it doesn’t really affect me here in Nova Scotia). Traditionally I have been of the former camp - I really know global warming is a serious issue that will affect the whole planet in major ways, but at times it feels so massive, so gigantic, that I get weighed down by how hard it will be to stop it from happening. I am trying to do my part: my family and I are eating less red meat, I am using public transit more (and hopefully will soon start using my bike again) and we have availed ourselves of the excellent programs at Efficiency Nova Scotia to make sure our home is as energy efficient as we can make it (this is an ongoing project). Still, sometimes it’s hard to believe that these little things can make a dent in the bigger issue. (They can!!!)

Lately, however, my feelings of dread and ultimate doom have been shifting a little. I have been hearing about and learning about a message of hope around climate change. I believe more and more that we can actually slow down the earth’s warming process and maybe, just maybe, save the earth from the full effects of the change. It is possible, but we don’t have much time - about 11 years actually.

Much of the work we must do in the next 11 years is to cut greenhouse gas emissions so that the levels of C02 in the atmosphere can drop to 50% below where they were in 1990. After we reach that goal, we need to continue to work toward transitioning away from fossil fuels and have net zero carbon emissions by 2050. These goals are possible but they will require strong leadership from local, state/provincial and national governments all over the world. To meet these targets, we need to put bold plans in place so that we can transition from fossil fuel energy into carbon-less energy, and make sure that people working in the oil and gas industry can transition to new industries without taking a financial hit.

I am proud that our NSNDP caucus introduced a couple of pieces of legislation last week that speaks to this transition and to the ways in which we can make our world greener, and therefore more liveable; and, at the same time, kick start our economy and create green jobs for thousands of people.

Read about our Green Jobs Act here.

Read about our Local Action on Climate Change Act here.

On Friday, March 15th, students all over the world went on strike to call for real action by governments to address the very serious issue of climate change. In Halifax, hundreds of young people (some as young as 4!) gathered at City Hall and then Province House. They were loud, passionate and serious about the need to act now. Climate action cannot be something we look at in the future, and ask the younger generations to handle. We need to act now so that they are able to live healthy and safe lives. It was inspiring to be among those energetic, intelligent and articulate people, who are using their substantial collective voice to call for policies that actually address the issue and stop the planet’s dangerous warming.

Lastly, someone I find inspiring is climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. I heard her speak here late last year and, though she knows we are in a climate change pickle, she proposes real solutions on how to get out of it. Her number one suggestion: talk about it. Check out her website and be inspired to act.




On the Need for a Child and Youth Advocate in Nova Scotia

Thanks for tuning into my new website, and to this blog. I hope to publish thoughts on a number of things I am working on in the Legislature and in the community here. To start with, I’ll add the essay below. In the last (Fall 2018) sitting of the Legislature, I introduced a bill calling for a Child and Youth Advocate Office. While it wouldn’t solve all the issues that affect children and youth in Nova Scotia, it would offer away to examine policies and laws that could be harmful, it could make recommendations to governments and it could also look at specific cases where children and youth come into harm due to government policies. Here’s the essay:

ON THE NEED FOR A CHILD AND YOUTH ADVOCATE IN NOVA SCOTIA

Between 2015 and 2017,  the number of children living in poverty across the country has declined in every province but one -- Nova Scotia.

In other provinces, thousands of children and their families now live above the poverty line. In our province, there are 5000 more children living in poverty than before the federal government created its Canada Child Benefit. This fact is simply unacceptable and we must do better.

This past fall, our NDP Caucus tabled legislation that would create a Child and Youth Advocate for our province. Right now, Nova Scotia and Quebec are the only provinces that do not have a advocate for children and young people. As MLAs return to the Legislature this week, I am calling on the Liberal government to include the creation of this office in the upcoming provincial budget.

The McNeil Liberals need to realize the effect of decisions that deny children basic needs like healthy food and safe shelter. Ignoring calls to re-introduce rent control and raise the minimum wage means more and more people can’t afford the things they need for their families. Experiences like those of Abdul Abdi who should have had help while he was in foster care to become a Canadian citizen or children taken from their families affected because of inaccurate Motherrisk testing, show that the children of Nova Scotia need an advocate.

A Child and Youth Advocate would review government programs and policies and make recommendations to make sure children get the care and opportunities they deserve. This office could look at issues of inclusion in child care centres and pre-primary classrooms while always keeping the well-being of young people at the forefront of its work. The advocate could recommend a plan of action to address the lack of services for youth with mental health care needs.

When every other province in the country has found a way to reduce the number of children in poverty it’s time to do something different in Nova Scotia. Stephen McNeil and his Liberal government must make this important investment in the well-being of children and youth and make sure they have an advocate to speak on their behalf.