‘Lis­ten to un­der­stand’

Valley Journal Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

jobs in agri­cul­ture, pro­cess­ing plants and that sort of thing. I see a big dif­fer­ence in job op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple here to­day than when I re­tired in 1999. That’s a big chal­lenge for who­ever gets elected, is to bring back some mean­ing­ful and well-pay­ing jobs to the area.” to try to find out what they’re all think­ing.”

An NDP MLA and cab­i­net min­is­ter in Dar­rell Dex­ter’s govern­ment, Ra­mona Jen­nex says the best ad­vice she could of­fer any would-be politi­cian is sim­ple: “lis­ten to peo­ple.”

Her sug­ges­tion is “lis­ten to un­der­stand, not just to re­spond.”

Look­ing back at her time knock­ing on doors, Jen­nex re­calls that 50 per cent of the con­cerns she heard re­lated to roads.

“That was num­ber one at the door,” she stated, cit­ing In­ter­net ser­vice and jobs as close sec­onds.

“The pub­lic wants an in­vest­ment in trans­porta­tion.”

She soon learned that all pol­i­tics is lo­cal. In her mind, it is a “very sorry thing that many politi­cians don’t care about poverty be­cause of the per­cep­tion that the poor do not vote.”

Pre­dict­ing a win­ner in the May 30 vote is hard right now, she adds.

“The PCs and the NDP are polling closely right now at 27 per cent and 24 per cent,” she said. “That splits the vote.”

Hav­ing come sec­ond in 2013, with just 350 votes less than the win­ner in Kings South, Keith Irv­ing, Jen­nex is aware that the per­son­al­ity of most can­di­dates fac­tors into vot­ing by only about five per cent.

“It’s true, it’s the leader who gets you elected,” she added.

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