Nova Scotia's new premier, cabinet sworn in at a ceremony in Halifax

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Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is shown Tuesday at a swearing-in ceremony at the Halifax Convention Centre. (CBC - image credit)
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is shown Tuesday at a swearing-in ceremony at the Halifax Convention Centre. (CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia's 30th premier along with 18 cabinet ministers were sworn in Tuesday afternoon at a ceremony at the Halifax Convention Centre.

"I'm very proud of the talented, committed people we've selected, and I know they will work hard for Nova Scotians," Premier Tim Houston said in a news release.

The Progressive Conservatives won a majority government mandate in the Aug. 17 election. The PCs hold 31 seats, the Liberals hold 17 seats, the NDP hold six seats and an Independent holds one seat.

The premier will serve as minister of trade, intergovernmental affairs, and have responsibility for the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness.

Veteran Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster will be the deputy premier, and will also have responsibility for Finance and Treasury Board, Gaelic Affairs and Labour Relations.

MacMaster previously served as House leader for the PCs in opposition, and was a senior advisor to former premier Rodney MacDonald.

Former nurse becomes new health minister

The PCs ran on a platform of improving the provincial health-care system, and Houston has said his top priority is dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Thompson will take on those responsibilities as the minister of health and wellness. Thompson was a nurse for 29 years, and prior to the election served as CEO of RK MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish.

During the election, the PCs drew attention to the wait-list for people searching for a family doctor, which is around 71,000 people. Thompson will be responsible for attracting doctors and other health-care workers to the province through the newly created Office of Health Care Professionals Recruitment.

Other cabinet ministers sworn in Tuesday include:

  • Brian Comer: Office of Mental Health and Addictions; Youth; Communications Nova Scotia

  • Barbara Adams: Seniors and Long-term Care

  • Karla MacFarlane: Community Services; Status of Women; Office of L'nu Affairs

  • Jill Balser: Labour Skills and Immigration; Apprenticeship

  • Brian Wong: Advanced Education

  • Becky Druhan: Education and Early Childhood Development

  • Pat Dunn: Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage; African Nova Scotian Affairs; Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives; Voluntary Sector

  • Susan Corkum-Greek: Economic Development

  • Greg Morrow: Agriculture

  • Steve Craig: Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Brad Johns: Minister of Justice and Attorney General; Elections Nova Scotia, Human Rights Commission and Accessibility Act

  • John Lohr: Municipal Affairs and Housing, Emergency Management and Military Relations

  • Kim Masland: Public Works (formerly Transportation and Active Transit)

  • Tory Rushton: Natural Resources and Renewables, Lands and Forestry, Energy and Mines

  • Tim Halman: Environment and Climate Change, also chair of Treasury Board

  • Colton LeBlanc: Public Service Commission, Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services, Acadian Affairs and Francophonie

Due to public health measures, the traditional swearing-in ceremony has been broken into smaller parts. On Monday the province's 55 MLAs were sworn in during separate ceremonies by party caucus at Province House.

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