Session 6 – Tuesday June 13 2023

Face the Challenge: Chat with experienced leaders about some challenges you may face on your journey, both during elections and in office.


  • Dr. Amanda Bittner

    Amanda Bittner is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Gender and Politics Lab at Memorial University. She is an expert of elections, voting, and gender and politics.

Guest Speakers:

  • MP Yvonne Jones

    Born and raised in Labrador, Yvonne currently resides in her hometown of Mary’s Harbour. She began her career as a journalist and worked throughout the province as a news reporter with the Evening Telegram, Canadian Press and the Robinson Blackmore weekly paper chain. As an entrepreneur, Yvonne has owned and operated small businesses in Labrador’s transportation and tourism sectors. Her first foray into politics was as Mayor of Mary’s Harbour from 1991 to 1996.

    Yvonne then served as MHA for Cartwright-L’anse au Clair for 17 years. In 2003, she was the first woman in the province to be appointed Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. She was also the Minister responsible for the Status of Women.

    In 2007, Yvonne was appointed Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of NL and Leader of the Official Opposition. In 2010, she became the official Leader of the Liberal Party of NL.

    Since being elected to House of Commons in 2013, Yvonne has been involved in many initiatives to progress Indigenous self-governance, create sustainable economic development in the North, and implement beneficial programs for both the fisheries and mining sectors.

    During her time in government, Yvonne has served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and most recently served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Northern Affairs. Through these roles she spearheaded the development of the Northern Infrastructure framework which has helped address issues important to Labrador and the North.
  • Elizabeth Laurie

    Elizabeth Laurie was first elected to Council in September 2009 and was re-elected for her fourth term September 2021. During this time, she has served as both Councillor and Deputy Mayor.  Having lived in Paradise her entire life, she is proud to serve her home community in municipal government. Elizabeth and her husband welcomed their first child, daughter Laurie, in May 2016. This is the first baby to be born to a sitting member of Paradise Town Council. Their family was completed in March 2019 with the birth of their daughter Grace.

    Elizabeth is a graduate of the Geomatics Engineering Technology program from the college of the North Atlantic. She is currently employed with the Engineering Division of the  Department of Transportation and Infrastructure as an Engineering Project Coordinator.

    As a long-time volunteer in the Town, Elizabeth recognizes the importance of community spirit and being involved. Throughout the years, she has worked with many organizations and sat on various committees. Currently, Elizabeth is a member of the Executive Council for Paradise District Guides and Contact Guider for 2nd Paradise Sparks.

    This term of Council, Elizabeth is chair of the Administration and Corporate Services Committee and a member of the Public Works Committee, Recreation and Community Services Committee, Northeast East Avalon Joint Council, Canada Games Committee and the Diversity Committee. Elizabeth is proud to serve as a member of the Conference Committee and the Women’s Caucus with Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Elizabeth is committed to working tirelessly with residents and stakeholders, making the tough decisions to achieve an attractive, and vibrant community.  Elizabeth encourages those to reach out to her anytime.
  • Honourable Bernadette Jordan

    Bernadette is a passionate community builder focusing on women and gender equality, rural communities, and ocean sustainability. She is a current member of the Kings Privy Council.

    Bernadette served as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, as well as Minister of Rural Economic Development from 2019 to 2021, making her the first woman from Nova Scotia to hold a cabinet position in the federal government, the first woman to be elected in the riding of South Shore St. Margaret’s and only the 9th woman in Nova Scotia history to be elected federally.

    Bernadette had a former career in fund development and in media relations, and has been actively involved in her community since she was a teenager. She is also married with three children.