**** PREMIER’S OFFICE– Release
New Cabinet to Deliver Solutions for Nova Scotians
Tim Houston was sworn in as Nova Scotia’s 30th premier today, Aug. 31. A 19-member cabinet, with women leading the largest departments, will help deliver on the priorities of Nova Scotians.
Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc presided over the ceremony at Halifax’s Convention Centre, which followed COVID-19 protocols.
“This team will be focused on taking action on the things Nova Scotians have clearly told us are important to them,” said Premier Houston. “I’m very proud of the talented, committed people we’ve selected, and I know they will work hard for Nova Scotians. We will find solutions that move us forward, together.”
The cabinet and refocused government departments reflect the premier’s vision for better health care, universal mental health services, dignity for seniors, rebuilding the economy and more and better paying jobs.
The premier will also serve as President of the Executive Council, the Minister of Trade and the Minister responsible for Intergovernmental Affairs and the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness.
Allan MacMaster will be the deputy premier and will also be the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, the Minister of Gaelic Affairs and the Minister responsible for Labour Relations.
Michelle Thompson will become the Minister of Health and Wellness. She will also oversee a newly created Office of Health Care Professionals Recruitment.
Brian Comer assumes responsibility for the Office of Mental Health and Addictions. He’ll also be the Minister responsible for Youth and Communications Nova Scotia.
Barbara Adams takes on the new Department of Seniors and Long-term Care.
Karla MacFarlane is the new Minister of Community Services and Minister responsible for the Status of Women and the Office of L’nu Affairs.
Jill Balser will be the Minister of Labour Skills and Immigration and have responsibility for Apprenticeship. Brian Wong will lead a separate Department of Advanced Education.
Becky Druhan will be the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
Pat Dunn will return to cabinet as the Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, which assumes responsibility of Tourism Nova Scotia. He’ll also have responsibility for African Nova Scotian Affairs, the Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives and the Voluntary Sector.
Susan Corkum-Greek will be the new Minister of Economic Development.
Agriculture will be led by Greg Morrow. Steve Craig will be the new Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Brad Johns is the new Minister of Justice and Attorney General. He’s also responsible for Elections Nova Scotia, the Human Rights Commission and the Accessibility Act.
John Lohr is the Minister for the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing. He’ll also have responsibility for the Emergency Management Office and Military Relations.
Kim Masland will lead the Department of Public Works, formerly Transportation and Active Transit.
Tory Rushton becomes Minister of the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, combining the former Departments of Lands and Forestry and Energy and Mines.
Environment and Climate Change will be led by Tim Halman who has also been appointed Chair of Treasury Board.
Colton LeBlanc takes on the Public Service Commission, Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services, and Acadian Affairs and Francophonie.
New Cabinet to Advance Workforce Solutions for a Stronger Economy
Premier Tim Houston’s leadership team will ensure Nova Scotia’s workforce has the people, skills and education it needs to stimulate business growth and that those workers have opportunities to work here at home, earning a good wage.
Minister Jill Balser will lead a new Department of Labour Skills and Immigration. She will also have responsibility for apprenticeship.
Minister Brian Wong will lead the Department of Advanced Education, giving focused attention to the province’s world-class post-secondary institutions.
“Just as we will take quick and decisive action on health care, this team will be tasked with taking bold steps to ensure our workforce matches our province’s immense economic potential,” said Premier Houston. “We will invest for our future and help create jobs, attract and keep our youth here, increase wages and bring more businesses to Nova Scotia – all key elements of rebuilding our economy and putting Nova Scotia on a path to stand out and succeed.”
The premier’s vision includes:
— doubling opportunities for high school students to take skills trade studies and updating the education curriculum to help youth find jobs that match the needs of their communities
— eliminating provincial taxes on the first $50,000 of earnings for workers aged 30 years and under in designated trades
— doubling the population by 2060 through a multi-pronged population growth strategy
— ensuring every household has high-speed internet
— working with employers to offer the better pay cheque guarantee
— hiring 2,500 more health care professionals, with the creation of a team focused on recruitment
Three Ministers to Focus on Health Care, Mental Health and Seniors’ Care
Premier Tim Houston has given three cabinet members responsibility to deliver on his vision to fix the issues in health care, mental health and seniors’ care.
Michelle Thompson (Health and Wellness), Brian Comer (Mental Health and Addictions) and Barbara Adams (Seniors and Long-term Care) were sworn in as cabinet ministers today, Aug. 31.
“I’m looking forward to working with these ministers and the people working in health care to fix the issues that Nova Scotians all over this province consistently identified at the doorstep – health care, mental health and seniors’ care,” said Premier Houston. “There’s a shortage of family doctors, a lack of mental health support and people are waiting far too long for surgery and long-term care beds. This is the team I’ve tasked with finding solutions.”
The premier’s vision includes:
— hope for health care – a plan focused on patient care, recruitment and retention of doctors and shorter wait times for surgery
— universal mental health care – a plan that treats mental health care like physical health care
— dignity for seniors – a plan for more beds and more staff
“The health of Nova Scotians of all ages, both physical and mental, needs to be our number one priority. We can no longer accept the status quo. Nova Scotians who need care deserve better and those providing the care deserve better,” said Premier Houston.
Premier Announces Changes to Public Service
Premier Tim Houston announced changes to the senior ranks of Nova Scotia’s public service today, Aug. 31. These changes do not include government’s new health-care leadership structure, which will be announced at a later date.
“Our government looks forward to working with Nova Scotia’s superb, professional public service as we implement the program we were elected to deliver,” said Premier Houston. “I want to congratulate the new deputy ministers we are appointing into senior roles and thank departing officials for their service to the province.”
Newly appointed deputy ministers include:
— April Howe, deputy minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, previously senior executive advisor to the deputy minister of Justice
— Karen Gatien, deputy minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, previously associate deputy minister, Education and Early Childhood Development
— Peter Hackett, deputy minister, Public Works, previously chief engineer, Transportation and Active Transit
Other members of the deputy team include:
— Laura Lee Langley, deputy minister to the Premier, Clerk of Executive Council, CEO of Communications Nova Scotia, and Head of the Public Service
— Paul LaFleche, Departments of Seniors and Long-Term Care and Municipal Affairs and Housing
— Tracey Taweel, Community Services and Status of Women
— Justin Huston, L’nu Affairs, African Nova Scotian Affairs, Gaelic Affairs and Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage
— Cathy Montreuil, Education and Early Childhood Development
— Scott Farmer, Economic Development and Environment and Climate Change
— Loretta Robichaud, Agriculture
— Candace Thomas, Justice
— Catherine Berliner, Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives
— Kelliann Dean, Intergovernmental Affairs and Finance and Treasury Board
— Nancy MacLellan, Advanced Education
— Andrea Anderson, Public Service Commission
— Joanne Munroe, Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services
— Ava Czapalay, Labour Skills and Immigration
— Fred Crooks, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Excellence
Deputy and associate deputy ministers leaving the public service include:
— Duff Montgomerie, former deputy minister of Labour and Advanced Education
— Bernie Miller, former deputy minister of Office of Strategy Management
— Julie Towers, former deputy minister of Environment and Climate Change
— Simon D’Entremont, former deputy minister of Energy and Mines
— Eiryn Devereaux, former deputy minister of Infrastructure and Housing
— Késa Munroe-Anderson, former deputy minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage
— Sandra Cascadden, former associate deputy minister of Health and Wellness
— Paula Bond, former associate deputy minister of Health and Wellness
All changes are effective immediately.