Its hard to talk about yourself

Last week I was contacted by a journalist for Brunswick News. She let me know that the Bugle Observer will provide, as a public service to readers, an opportunity to meet their candidates through municipality, district education and regional health authority profiles for the May 10 elections. I was asked to provide the following information for my part in an election profile.

  • Name
  • Occupation and age
  • Political background on council (or RHA), if any – 1-2 sentences
  • Your key issues – 1-2 sentences

The profiles are strictly limited to 150 words.  It was an interesting process writing a profile and I of course solicited advice and suggestions from a number of my siblings, knowing they would all provide very different feedback and views.

I am finding writing on a blog interesting to begin with.  Due to the various jobs I have had, I have had to do very different styles of writing during my career. Writing about myself and my views is very different and very challenging for me. In the past I had to be less passive, more succinct, more technical, or more informative, or more expansive. Now sometimes I feel a bit Jekyll and Hyde when I write.  I love facts. I love research. I know not everyone shares this.

I find it hard not to get excited when I read about the individual communities and see how different they are.  Every community’s needs are as individual as, well, individuals. It makes me want to learn more. When I write should I try to find words that will appeal to those communities? The ones I think will help me to be elected?  Of course that is important but as one brother pointed out, you need to tell them about what is important to you.  

Why am I offering as a candidate? For years I worked on strategies to improve the population of NB and how government policies or laws impact New Brunswickers. I worked in “Job Bank” when we had those, helped people traverse the Employment Insurance system, helped newcomers to NB, watched citizenship ceremonies, supported workers on our borders, or supported and informed senior managers in decision making affecting Atlantic Canadians. I loved my work because I felt I could help make a difference in our communities and in New Brunswick.  I guess I want to continue to do that and healthy people help make a healthy New Brunswick.

So, what did I choose to say? I wasn’t sure what value providing my age had but I also believe age is just a number.  Was it more important for people to know what I did or what I want to do?  Below is what my “bio” will be in the BugleObserver this week.  I cannot wait to see what the other candidates have to say. Check it out this week (maybe Tuesday or Friday?) and see what those offering for the position on RHA have to say.

“My name is Janet Blair and I have lived in rural NB all of my life. After retiring from the federal government I continued volunteer work with many community and provincial organizations in support and leadership roles. I have volunteered most of my 64 years; this would be my first opportunity volunteering in a municipal capacity.

This extremely diverse sub-region requires a balance of health services to meet the needs of both young families and aging seniors.  I believe we need to continue with building community led initiatives that are tied to the determinants of health that influence the wellbeing of our communities. We need to maintain sustainable health care while finding better ways to support the most vulnerable and at risk groups in our communities such as those with mental health needs, community and household food insecurity and an inability to access primary health care.”

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