YARMOUTH, N.S. – Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood has announced that she will seek the federal Liberal nomination for the riding of West Nova.
In a media release sent out Sunday evening, Dec. 9, Mood said she will bring to Ottawa the same “positive and solution-focused approach she has used for the last six years as mayor of the Town of Yarmouth.”
Asked if it was difficult or easy to hit the 'send' button when she emailed out her release to the media, Mood said, "It was, very honestly, a mixture of both. The difficulty lay in my tremendous love for this town and its amazing people and so the thought of potentially leaving the Mayor's seat admittedly made me sad. But that thought was quickly replaced by the simple fact that it's not just the town I love. It's the entire region I'm passionate about and the committees and organizations I commit my time to speaks clearly to that. No individual municipality can bring about the changes we need alone. Together, West Nova is a force to be reckoned with but it will take a strong, determined voice in Ottawa to ensure we are heard. That's when I hit 'send.' It's exciting and humbling at the same time."
If Mood is to become the Liberal candidate, Mood would take a leave of absence from her position as mayor when the federal election campaign begins next fall. The next federal election is set for October 2019.
The next municipal election in Nova Scotia is set for October 2020.
“We face many challenges, but I firmly believe we have the talent, resources and initiative for the area to flourish and its people to prosper,” said Mood in the media release announcing her intention to seek the nomination. “I have worked with both provincial and federal governments, as well as with individuals and communities from Kings County to Argyle, on issues related to economic development, governance and sustainability.
“I want to put this experience to work and make sure our vision for West Nova is heard and understood by the federal government,” she said.
Mood was first elected mayor in 2012 and won re-election in 2016, largely outpacing her opponents by having received 2,010 votes compared to their 753 votes and 174 votes. She said as mayor she has focused her efforts on guiding Yarmouth “out of a period or decline and into a period of revitalization and growth.” She also when she was first elected mayor, Yarmouth was at a "truly low point."
"My roots kept me grounded so that I never wavered in the most important part of the job. I got people believing – in themselves and in this community. I knew we were (are) a resilient lot and could bounce back. I simply sought to bring people together to get that job done – to see the town come back to life," she said. "The community now has momentum. We know what will keep us going forward and we know what will set us back. We won’t always agree on every issue, and there are some contentious ones, but we are in a better place than we were a few short years ago. We got here because the community came together."
When she ran for re-election in 2016, Mood said in an interview with the Tri-County Vanguard that if the biggest accusation anyone can say about her is that she’s been too positive and been a cheerleader for her town, she’d take that. When asked then what she saw as her biggest accomplishments as mayor over the previous four years, a shift in attitude topped her list. This included focusing on positives instead of always on the negatives, she said. Going from a place that often had its hand out looking for help to a place prepared to step up confidently to get help and change things, she added.
During her first term as mayor, in 2013 she and council launched the All Hands on Deck initiative that saw nearly 500 people come together to brainstorm and develop practical, community-led solutions to some of the issues facing the region, primarily in the absence of international ferry service, which had caused an economic blow to the region.
“I believe in giving people a voice, and empowering and supporting communities to find their own solutions,” Mood said in the media release. “I am ready to bring some home-grown and local ideas to Ottawa and work hard for our entire region.”
Mood has a BA in Political Science from Acadia University. She joined the RCMP as a civilian member and trained in Regina for her position with the Drug Section. After 18 years with the RCMP, she opened her own company, Mood Consulting. Her media release notes she has delivered training and keynotes focusing on leadership, communications and community engagement.
She is vice-president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities and has been part of the team implementing recommendations of the Towns Task Force. She is chair of the Western Regional Enterprise Network (WREN) Liaison and Oversight Committee and serves on the Rural Innovation Committee. As part of the Atlantic Canada Mayors Congress, Mayor Mood has partnered with municipal representatives to advocate federally for investment and positive change across the region.
She said criticisms from the public over decisions or actions the town has made has never deterred her from wanting to help the public.
"You need strong convictions and resolve to make those difficult decisions in the face of criticism. There is nothing more disheartening than someone who will tell you what you want to hear and vote for something he/she doesn’t really believe in, simply to quash those criticisms," she said, adding she always tries to be forthright. "I have great faith in our community, even though all may not agree on the path chosen."
Colin Fraser, who has served as the Liberal MP for West Nova since the last federal election, has indicated he will not be reoffering.
“I want to thank MP Colin Fraser for his service, and for being a fair and effective representative for West Nova,” said Mood. “I look forward to forming new partnerships and engaging people in meaningful conversations about what we need here in West Nova, and getting the job done.”
In addition to Mood, Clare resident Jason Deveau has also announced his intention to seek the Liberal nomination for the West Nova riding.
Asked what she sees as the greatest assets she can bring to the federal table, Mood said, "I would say it's a mixture of qualities, no one of which is effective without the other. I have conviction and drive. I get things done. I am an influencer and a connector. These are qualities I have harnessed and honed. But all of that is built on a foundation of integrity. I love this entire region and as a visionary leader I see the full potential. Those who know me would say, I will persist until ‘it' gets done, whatever ‘it' is. If I have been convinced, I won’t don't take no for an answer when the right thing to do is in front of us. My voice won't be "lost" in Ottawa . . . they'll know I'm there for West Nova."