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First Liberal contender to fill Brison’s seat is 28-year-old lawyer-in-training


Kody Blois, standing in the East Hants Sports Hall of Fame at the Sportsplex in Lantz, will seek the Liberal nod for the riding of Kings-Hants that Scott Brison held for more than two decades. - Francis Campbell
Kody Blois, standing in the East Hants Sports Hall of Fame at the Sportsplex in Lantz, will seek the Liberal nod for the riding of Kings-Hants that Scott Brison held for more than two decades. - Francis Campbell
LANTZ, N.S. —

The first Liberal hand has gone up to replace Scott Brison in the riding of Kings-Hants.

“Any time you have an interest in your community and an interest in trying to work on projects that are in the public benefit, it naturally leads you into the realm of politics and elected office,” said Kody Blois, a 28-year-old lawyer-in-training who grew up in Belnan, near Elmsdale.

Blois will not be the first fresh face to bid for the Kings-Hants seat. Brison had just turned 30 when he was first elected in the riding in 1997 as a member of the Progressive Conservatives. He held the seat for nearly 22 years, taking three months away to allow then-newly elected PC leader Joe Clark to gain the seat in a 2000 byelection. Brison, who crossed the floor to join the Liberals late in 2003, announced last month that he’s stepping away from politics.

“I had a couple of conversations with Scott over the years,” Blois said. “I had the opportunity to speak with him about his time (in office). There is not a day goes by that he doesn’t appreciate and enjoy the privilege that he’s had to serve the people of Kings-Hants.

“He’s been a stalwart in this community and frankly for the country.”

Blois draws more personal inspiration from family and the traffic tragedy that claimed the life of his father, Gordon, in April 2005.

“Growing up in a family that I would describe as blue collar — my father being a truck driver and my mom working as a (school) administrative assistant — it makes you appreciate the struggles that middle class, blue collar and working class families are going through. My father was a big advocate for education. He worked tirelessly to provide for me and as I look at how he’s impacted my life, I think it’s try to live every day to the fullest. He died young (44) and you want to make a difference every day you can. That’s certainly how I tried to govern my life since his passing.”

Making the most out of life translated into a goaltending career in midget and junior hockey, a commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University and a master’s degree of public administration and a law degree from Dalhousie University. He’s founder and president of East Hants Sports Heritage and Come Home East Hants and director of East Hants Sports Infrastructure.

An articling clerk with the law firm McInnes Cooper in Halifax, Blois doesn’t think it necessary to establish himself as a lawyer before jumping into politics.

“Anyone who gets into politics will probably tell you that there is not an ideal time to get in,” he said. “There is always uncertainty and there is always a challenge to set aside your private life and to step into that public realm. I look at where I am right now. I think I have something to offer. I’m 28 years old and I am not going to have to set aside a 10- or 15-year law career. I think this is some good timing. If it doesn’t work out, I’m out a month or two of experience as an associate.

“I think I have something to offer and that’s why I’m putting my hand up now.”

Blois said agriculture is always close to voters’ hearts in Kings-Hants.

“Whether it’s the dairy sector in Hants County, and Kings County is obviously the bread basket of the province, agriculture is just so fundamental to the economy and is essential to the communities.”

The federal Liberal party that Blois espouses took a good deal of criticism in the agricultural community with its decision to give the United States greater access to Canada’s dairy market in the free trade agreement.

“I’ve been a zealous advocate of supply management as soon as I had an understanding of what it represents to our community,” Blois said. “I will continue to be an advocate of supply-management sectors in the dairy and poultry industries. When I look at the (free trade) deal as a whole, I think the government was between a rock and a hard place. Most people can appreciate that. That doesn’t take away the impact of what those cuts mean, but at the end of the day, I just need to do what I can to support the agriculture industry and the supply management sector in Kings-Hants.”

If he is elected an MP in October, Blois said he would also direct attention to engaging youth and supporting sport, recreation and the arts.

Blois knows of a couple of potential candidates for the Liberal nomination who are yet to confirm and said he would be naive to think past the nomination battle.

“Anytime you put your hand up to step into this realm, you understand that inevitably it could end in failure,” he said. “I ask myself would I have a regret for not stepping into the ring and trying to make it happen now and I think I would. I’m not looking at anything past the nomination. Step 1 is to engage as many people in Hants East and the existing Liberal membership in Kings-Hants. At the end of the day, if you are not successful, it doesn’t define you for the rest of your life.”

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