I have worked with Emily once in my time on stage, during the run of Jerry Finnegan’s Sister at Centre Stage Theatre, and I couldn’t be happier that we had the opportunity to do so. That was almost four years ago and many things have changed since then. Emily, for one, is now the Kings County Deputy Mayor, a position she has held since November of 2016. During my time with Emily on stage I knew she would be a wonderful breath of fresh air into the political scene for the region. Emily has been interested in politics since she started her post-secondary education at St. Thomas University. She graduated from St. Thomas with a B.A. consisting of two majors, one in political science, the other in a topic called “Great Ideas”; a multidisciplinary field dealing with the intersections of political science, philosophy, and sociology. Following her graduation, Emily moved to Amherst where she worked for the county of Cumberland in Nova Scotia. It was there that she started her work experience in the field of municipal government, and she stayed there for a year. When Emily decided to go back to school, she chose Acadia to pursue a Master degree in Social and Political Thought, where she is currently working on her thesis.
It was during this time that I met Emily at the theatre. I came to learn a lot about Emily during our time together working on stage including the crazy pace with which she lives life. Never one to back down from a challenge, Emily decided to dive head first into the Annapolis Valley political scene in 2016 because she felt “frustrated”. The frustration came from a political scene that, she felt, was under represented by youth. One particular moment she recalled was during a forum at Central Kings High School, where the question on the floor was what can be done to make youth stay in the valley? The general consensus being brought forth was from senior members of government resounded the answer of jobs, and the need for them. While Emily agreed with the need for more and better jobs, she also turned the whole question on its head by stating, "should youth have to stay in the Annapolis Valley?" There is so much to the world and by going out into it one can open themselves to entirely new ways of thinking. Apparently answers like this were what people wanted to hear, because Emily received her current position. Now that she is active in the political scene, there are a few different projects that Emily is spearheading. One is the Kings Youth Council, a program designed to get people from the ages of 13-30 engaged in civic life. The council is not restricted to the events relating to politics, or topics exclusive to youth. It acts as an opportunity for mentorship between members and offers new governing perspectives.
Emily is also, now, the chair of the Race Relations and Anti-Discrimination Committee for Kings County. It deals with people that are a part of any minority status and works toward helping them overcome the hardships they experience. Emily has reached out to different groups in her county and has been exposed to numerous issues that these minorities face on a daily basis. Thus far, while she is unsure how to fix all the problems people navigate through, being aware of the issues will help make Emily’s job easier when deciding policy. One of the groups that the committee has been in contact with is the Valley Vixen group out of Wolfville, in an attempt to talk about issues faced by the queer community in the region. Another group the committee has concerned itself with is the large Aboriginal community in Kings County. The main reason for this group is to try and facilitate dialogue with, at times marginalized, people to help them bring their needs to the table of policy makers.
In her time before going to politics, Emily was very involved in travel. Seeing travel as one of her passions, she has visited Singapore, Spain, Italy, the UK, France, Costa Rica, as well as traveling all across Canada and California. Emily is a huge proponent of travel because of the ability it has to open one’s mind to different experiences and ways of thinking. She feels that her travels have had a profound impact on the person she has become, which is what underscored her answer previously mentioned at the Central Kings forum. “I wanna live 100 lives. I want to experience everything in the world”. The last few years have been very impactful on Emily’s life personally also. She and her long-term partner, Cassian Ferlatte, welcomed their son Everett, in 2015 and got married in 2016. Emily has said that travel, gardening and the boys, are her loves.