Preston MLA Angela Simmonds to step down

Angela Simmonds, the MLA for Preston and the deputy Speaker, announced Wednesday afternoon she is stepping down from both roles.

“It’s time now for me to serve this community and this province outside the walls of politics,” she told reporters on Wednesday.

Simmonds said she doesn’t have another job lined up but it was time to make a change.

“Whatever I do, it will be to make sure it pushes initiatives about anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll have people around me who I’ll continue to inspire, lead and support, and I don’t know what that looks like.”

Simmonds ran for the leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party last summer. She was first elected as MLA in 2021.

In a statement, Liberal Leader Zach Churchill praised Simmonds as a valued member of the party’s caucus.

“Throughout her time as an MLA and a leadership candidate, she stuck true to her principles and values while bringing new members to the Nova Scotia Liberal Party. I have immense respect for her as a colleague and friend, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in the coming months.”

Her resignation is effective April 1.

Simmonds shot down questions from reporters asking if she doesn’t like being a politician.

“That’s not what it’s about. That’s not at all what I’m saying,” she said. “I want to lead in a positive way and influence and encourage others and I want to do [that in a way] that’s not adversarial.”

In a letter to constituents, Simmonds told her community she’s not done working for them.

“Regardless of what role I play or where I sit I will always be there for them.”

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

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