Cumberland North MLA ready for new career
Cumberland North MLA Terry Farrell is closing out a 20-year legal career and heading to Halifax to sit on the government benches of the legislature.
© Darrell Cole - Cumberlandnewsnow.com
Cumberland North’s new MLA, Terry Farrell, looks over a few files at his office at Hicks LeMoine. Farrell is winding up his 20-year law career to become the riding’s first Liberal MLA since the 1990s.
AMHERST – Terry Farrell is ready to start his new career.
Two weeks after being elected Cumberland North’s new MLA, the Amherst native putting his 20-year law career on hold and preparing to head to Halifax.
“It’s going to be different,” Farrell said as he prepared to pack up his office at Hicks LeMoine. “It’s going to be tough to leave it behind. It was a great 20 years.”
Farrell said he has handed his active files over to other lawyers in the Amherst law office and is wrapping up whatever matters he can before he officially becomes the MLA on Thursday in Halifax.
Farrell, who also resigned as the chairman of Amherst’s planning advisory committee prior to the election, said he’s going to miss his morning routine, but he’s excited about what his new job offers.
“In a way I’ve been doing something like this for years. It’s really very similar,” Farrell said. “I’ve always been used to meeting with people in the community and taking calls from people who need things solved.”
He doesn’t believe there’s anything preventing him from practicing as a lawyer while serving in government, but stressed being an MLA is a full-time job.
Farrell said he has been busy since the moment he was declared elected on Oct. 8 over Progressive Conservative candidate Judi Giroux, incumbent Brian Skabar of the NDP and Jason Blanch of the Green Party.
“It has been an interesting two weeks. I’ve taken a lot of calls from constituents and have been working to get myself up to date with some of the issues that are going to be coming up,” Farrell said. “I’ve already made some appearances as the MLA-elect and I think I’m going to be able to slide into the role pretty nicely.”
Farrell said reality sunk in the day after the election when people started to approach him differently. He said he has also developed a new sense of responsibility, knowing he is now the people’s representative.
“I’ve had a lot of people call me already about their issues and asking for my help,” Farrell said. “It didn’t take long for it to sink in that I’m the MLA and I’m going to be very busy.”
Once the swearing in is complete, Farrell hopes to have a constituency office set up by the end of the month and a hire constituency assistant before the end of the month.
Farrell’s not sure if he’ll have a constituency office in the Pugwash-Wallace area, but said he will spend a lot of time in that part of the riding.
He’s also hoping to set up a meeting with the local government officials he’ll be working with over the next few years. He has also met with Amherst’s community and economic development director Roger MacIsaac and will be meeting with the county’s economic development officer Jim Campbell.
And he’s not about to forget why he was elected.
“I’m there to represent the people of Cumberland North and bring their concerns to Halifax, not to be the messenger of messages from Halifax back to Cumberland North,” Farrell said. “I’m going to be very careful of avoiding falling into the roll of coming back from Halifax and saying why you can’t have this or can’t have that. My role is to represent this part of Nova Scotia in Halifax and make sure that we’re part of the family.”
One thing Farrell won’t be is a member of the cabinet. While disappointed, he understands the new premier has only so many cabinet positions and plenty of MLAs to choose from, including quite a few veteran MLAs with cabinet experience in previous governments.
“I’d certainly be ready to take on any added responsibility the premier requires, but I’m really looking forward to learning the job of Cumberland North MLA without any other distractions,” Farrell said.