The province’s first African Nova Scotian deputy Speaker is stepping down in April, short of two years into her term.
Angela Simmonds announced her resignation as both member of the legislative assembly (MLA) for Preston and deputy Speaker of the house on Wednesday.
Her final day is April 1.
“This decision is necessary to stretch out the legacy of changemakers,” Simmonds said in a letter, “lifting up new voices while also preserving my own.”
Simmonds became the MLA for Preston in 2021. She was elected with 2,226 votes becoming the Liberal party’s first African Nova Scotian woman to take that position.
Shortly after, Simmonds also became the first African Nova Scotian to serve as deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly on Sept. 24, 2021.
She’s a lawyer and previously worked as an advocate for land titling.
Although Simmonds is stepping down, April 1 “will certainly not be the last day you hear my voice.”
Simmonds posted her resignation to social media Wednesday afternoon.
It has been an honour to serve the constituency of Preston.
I thank all those who have supported me. You have taught me to chase my ambitions, follow the journey and lead with my heart.
This knowledge is invaluable, and I am forever grateful. pic.twitter.com/NMxWu0c8QM
— Angela Simmonds (@AngelaSimmonds_) January 25, 2023
Community members took to the platform to share their thoughts, including DeRico Symonds, a co-founder of the GameChangers902 not-for-profit that advocates for young African Nova Scotians in Halifax.
Symonds thanked her for “representing with grace, tenacity and fearlessness in the face of many challenges.”
Thank you @AngelaSimmonds_ for representing with grace, tenacity and fearlessness in the face of many challenges.
Thank you for inspiring a younger generation of African Nova Scotian women to pursue the path of politics. Thank you for not being afraid to speak up!
— DeRico Symonds (@DericoSymonds) January 26, 2023
Colchester North Liberal Association President Cam MacKay posted to Facebook Thursday, writing: “the political landscape in this province suffered a big loss.”
MacKay noted that Simmonds’ departure showed that Nova Scotia’s Liberal Party’s “moral compass” needed recalibrating.
MacKay then announced her own resignation from Nova Scotia Liberal Party’s membership.
About the author
Chase is a fourth-year journalism student from Mississauga, Ontario.