YARMOUTH, N.S. –Michael Drew of Yarmouth has announced his intention to seek the Liberal nomination for the riding of West Nova.
“I'm not a career politician, but I just really want to do something to help this community and to help this region because it means the world to me,” Drew said on Jan. 16, the day he announced he would seek the nomination. “That’s the reason I’m doing this.”
Drew’s background is mostly in education through his career as an educator and other positions he’s held. He says there are many reasons why he wants to be involved at the federal level.
“My concern has always been for the people who are the most vulnerable. As a teacher, as a school board member, as a school board chair, my concern was for those who are most vulnerable and what can we do to help them be more secure,” he says.
“That’s been a key focus of mine and as I look at this next phase I’m also thinking about seniors and their security. And I’m thinking about increasing or improving the infrastructure in our region,” he says. Providing support to entrepreneurs– such as through loans– to help them fulfil their visions and contribute to communities and the economy is something else he wants to see continue in the riding, he says.
“It’s a marvelous place and we have a lot to be proud of throughout West Nova,” Drew says. “We feed a lot of people through our agriculture and our seafood, we do a lot for the province and the country. I just want to work to further on the work that’s already been done through the federal government.”
Drew also wants to see more done to attract and keep young people in the riding and to encourage youth migration back home.
Drew has lived in Yarmouth since 1989, although he recently discovered he’s had ties to the area even longer than that. Adopted as a newborn infant in Saint John, New Brunswick, Drew had been searching for his biological parents and relatives since the year 2000. A year ago he was given an ancestry kit as a gift and when he received the results it linked him to a number of cousins. In April, New Brunswick also opened up its birth registry. Through all of this he has learned that his biological mother is in the Antigonish area, but his biological father is from Surette’s Island, Yarmouth County. It's been an exciting time, he says, to connect with biological relatives.
He's also excited to be vying for the Liberal nomination. Drew says he’s been contemplating vying for the Liberal nomination since November. He had thought about it earlier in life but says his children were younger then and he didn’t want to miss out on those years. They are grown now, and he feels the timing is right.
Although not bilingual, he says he will immerse himself in the French language if he receives the nomination.
Drew was the chair of the former Tri-County Regional School Board and currently serves as the vice-chair of the newly formed Provincial Advisory Council on Education.
An educator for 30 years, he was also the co-ordinator of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and was responsible for the implementation of the program at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School. Additionally, he served as the president of the Atlantic Canadian Association of IB Worlds Schools for four years and presented the needs of Atlantic Canadian IB schools and students to the other IB leaders from North, Central and South America.
He has been an active member of the Liberal Party since 1991. For most of the past eight years he has served as the Yarmouth Liberal Association vice-president and president. He served as co-chair for each of the past three elections for Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill.
“I am offering for this nomination because I believe in the importance of serving one’s community to make life better for the people around you,” Drew says. “I am passionate and proud about our region, our people and our importance not only to the province, but to the country. I bring energetic leadership for the concerns and needs of the people of West Nova and I want to make a difference for the people of our community.”
Colin Fraser, who has served as the Liberal MP for West Nova since the last federal election, has stated he will not be reoffering in the next election. Drew says Fraser has achieved much in the past three years for West Nova and has done a lot of great work. Still, he says, there is much more to be done.
Drew is among three people in recent months to announce their intention to seek the West Nova Liberal nomination. Also making their intention known have been Jason Deveau of Clare and Pam Mood of Yarmouth.
As of yet, there has been no date or location announced for the Liberal nomination meeting.