New role for Porter
After serving Hants West for more than a decade, MLA Chuck Porter is pleased to have been recognized by his peers with a new role in Halifax.
On June 15, Premier Stephen McNeil announced new roles and responsibilities for the Liberal Caucus Office and MLAs were officially sworn in on June 16. Eastern Shore MLA Kevin Murphy was elected as speaker, and Porter was voted in as the deputy speaker of the Legislature.
“It’s an honour to be nominated and voted in as deputy speaker. Chuck Porter After 11 years, it’s nice,” said Porter in an interview June 20.
Three MLAs - Porter, PC Alfie MacLeod and NDP Lenore Zann - were in the running for the position.
“I’m confident I can do it, without question. I’ve been around there a long time and am more than capable of doing the job,” said Porter.
The former paramedic was first elected in 2006 as a Progressive Conservative and was returned to his seat in 2009 and 2013. He left the PC Party in 2014 and sat as an independent MLA until February 2016, when he joined the Liberals. He was re-elected to represent Hants West, this time as a Liberal, on May 30.
As deputy speaker, Porter will fulfill all the roles of the speaker in his absence.
“While the House is in session, even while he’s present, there’s specific jobs he can’t do that I, as deputy, have to do,” said Porter, noting that when committee of the whole house on bills is in session, the meeting is chaired by the deputy speaker.
“That process is not able to be done by the speaker; it has to be done by the deputy,” he said.
Porter will also help host various formal events at the Legislature throughout his term.
“For example, on July 2, I will be hosting an event at the House in the red room for all of those participating in the Nova Scotia International Tattoo,” he said, adding that it is a private function.
Porter said while he may be busier with the new role, espe- cially when the Nova Scotia House of Assembly is sitting, he’ll always have his constituency at the top of his mind.
“We will be working like we always did and (I will be) attending what I can and continuing to meet with constituents,” said Porter. “It’ll be a little bit busier, for sure, but it’ll never be too busy for home.”