Percy Paris now feels at home in the provincial legislature.
The NDP cabinet minister and only black Nova Scotia MLA famously set off a storm of debate in 2007 when he said he faced racism from his fellow politicians.
The then-rookie MLA described the legislature as “the loneliest place I’ve ever worked” and said day-to-day life there “makes me feel either invisible, or unfairly singled out.”
He spoke of members ignoring him in the hallways and extra heckling directed towards him, but he never named any names.
Paris now tells Metro that is no longer the reality.
“It’s a different house today,” he said last week. “We’ve got a majority government. I’m a minister. It’s a short time, but things have changed.”
The NDP holds 30 of the 52 seats in the legislature.
“I think for all NDP MLAs the feeling that you’re at home is going to be more prevalent,” he said.
“No matter where you go in the house, you’re going to run into a colleague.”
Paris said his relationship with the other parties has improved as well.