By Mark Squibb | Vol. 12 No. 5 (March 7 2019)
Janice Ryan is a self-described sixth generation Ryan born and bred in Bay Bulls who grew up surrounded by the fishery.
"I grew up tripping over cod traps," she laughs.
Ryan, who divides her time living in St. John’s and Deer Lake, is hoping that connection to the Southern Shore will be enough for her to win election to the House of Assembly this year as the district’s first Liberal MHA. She recently won the Liberal nomination for the district by acclamation.
Ryan’s connection with the fishery continues. Her resume includes four years spent as a research technician with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and five-and-a-half years as a program coordinator with the FFAW.
She has spent the last eight years as a senior specialist with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Ryan says she's also always held an interest in politics; when she was just seven, she drew a picture of herself as Prime Minister of Canada.
"If you pay taxes, you're political,” says Ryan. “Politics, when it comes right down to the day-to-day decision-making that affects our lives, we should all have a say in that."
Ryan currently serves as a member of the Provincial Fisheries Advisory Council. Says that this past December she seriously began considering putting her name forward for the coming general election, which could be called any time between now and late fall.
"I'm so eager and so excited to work on behalf of the people of Ferryland district... every child, woman, and man of the Ferryland district will be my boss,” Ryan says. “So that's a pretty big thing to think about. It's overwhelming to think about."
Ryan, who says that most people think of her energy and enthusiasm as her forefront traits, says she's not daunted by the district's almost exclusively PC history. The seat is currently held by PC MHA Keith Hutchings who has confirmed he intends to seek re-election.
"I'm hearing a lot of people say, 'You know what, I'm not necessarily NDP, or Progressive Conservative, or Liberal; I vote for the person,'" Ryan says.
Ryan notes she will be wrapping up her position with the not-for-profit WWF at the end of March so as to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.