Premier-designate Rodney MacDonald announced today, Feb. 23, the names of the 15 MLAs who will be in his cabinet. The provincial Executive Council will be sworn in on Friday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. in Halifax. “This is the right team to help make a better future for Nova Scotian families and to build on the successes and prosperity of the past six and a half years,” said Premier-designate MacDonald. “This a team that is truly Nova Scotian, representing every corner of the province, and members are ready to do their part to help Nova Scotians realize their hopes and dreams. “Together we will work to make sure Nova Scotia becomes stronger, more prosperous, and healthier.” The premier-designate said that his cabinet and government will continue to co-operate and look for common ground with opposition parties, realizing that Nova Scotians want government to do its job, working for the people, not for partisan purposes. Ten of the members were in the previous cabinet, while five are newcomers. “In creating this cabinet team, I was able to draw on both the experience and ability of current ministers and the enthusiasm, energy and fresh ideas of MLAs who are new to the cabinet table,” said Mr. MacDonald. “We are blessed to have so many capable MLAs in our caucus and the strength of this cabinet is a reflection of that.” The premier-designate also announced a restructuring of departments in the provincial government. The new premier has created the Department of Health Promotion and Protection, combining Nova Scotia Health Promotion, the former Public Health branch of the Department of Health, and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Under Premier Hamm, I had the honour to serve as Nova Scotia’s first Minister of Health Promotion — the first in the country,” said Mr. MacDonald. “Now, we are taking the next step to help Nova Scotians make better choices about lifestyle, exercise, and diet so we can be the healthiest province in the country. By making those investments now, we are doing our part to ensure a healthier future for all Nova Scotians. “At the same time, it is more crucial than ever before to be prepared for a public health emergency. By creating this new department, it allows us to sharpen our focus on protecting Nova Scotians’ health for that sort of emergency.” The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is being realigned into two separate entities: the Department of Agriculture and Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture. “By creating a stand-alone Department of Agriculture we are acknowledging the extraordinary importance of our farmers and farming communities,” said Mr. MacDonald. “Our agricultural communities have told us they needed a single-access point for their dealings with government, and we agree. “As well, we feel that the traditional fishing industry and the emerging aquaculture industry deserve direct contact with provincial government employees. This is one way to make sure government does its part to help this vital industry thrive.” As premier, Mr. MacDonald will also serve as president of the Executive Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Hants West MLA Ron Russell, the most senior member of cabinet, remains Deputy Premier. Mr. Russell, who was born in New Zealand, will also be Minister of Immigration, Minister of Human Resources, and Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission. He was first elected in 1978, and has been re-elected seven times in a row. Michael Baker will be the Minister of Finance and will continue as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. Mr. Baker was elected MLA for Lunenburg in 1998 and re-elected in 1999 and 2003. He is also Minister responsible for Part I of the Gaming Control Act, the Securities Act and the Insurance Act. Jamie Muir is continuing as Minister of Education. Mr. Muir is the MLA for Truro-Bible Hill. He has a wealth of experience in education, from his time as principal of the Nova Scotia Teachers College, a faculty member in the education department at St. Francis Xavier University, director of inspection services for the Nova Scotia Department of Education and inspector of schools in the Cumberland, Colchester and Hants East area. He is also Minister responsible for the Youth Secretariat Act. Angus MacIsaac is the Minister of Transportation and Public Works and the chair of Treasury and Policy Board. A former teacher, Mr. MacIsaac was first elected to represent the people of Guysborough in 1969 and re-elected in 1970. He returned to the Nova Scotia legislature in 1999, where he has served as Minister of Health, Minister for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and Minister of Education. The MLA for Antigonish, he is also responsible for the Sydney Steel Corporation Act and Minister responsible for Gaelic Initiatives. David Morse remains Minister of Community Services. Mr. Morse has been the MLA for Kings South since 1999. He is also Minister responsible for the Disabled Persons’ Commission Act and Minister of Emergency Management. Kerry Morash becomes Minister of Economic Development. First elected in 1999 by the people of Queens, Mr. Morash worked 18 years as safety co-ordinator at Bowater Mersey. He is also Minister responsible for Nova Scotia Business Incorporated, Minister responsible for the Innovation Corporation Act. Barry Barnet is minister of the newly created Department of Health Promotion and Protection. The MLA for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, he continues his role as the province’s first Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs. Lucasville, one of the province’s most historic African Nova Scotian communities, is in his riding. He is also Minister of Communications Nova Scotia. Richard Hurlburt is Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Mr. Hurlburt’s experience as a warden of Yarmouth County and as a long-time municipal councillor makes him well-suited for his new responsibilities. He was elected the MLA for Yarmouth in 1999 and re-elected in 2003. Mr. Hurlburt is also responsible for the Residential Tenancies Act. The Minister of Health is Chris d’Entremont. Mr. d’Entremont continues as Minister or Acadian Affairs. The MLA for Argyle is a former broadcaster and was an executive assistant to former Finance Minister Neil LeBlanc. Mr. d’Entremont is also chair of the Seniors’ Secretariat. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson is Minister of Environment and Labour. A small business owner and former municipal councillor, Ms. Bolivar-Getson is the MLA for Lunenburg West. She is also Minister responsible for Part II of the Gaming Control Act, the Utility and Review Board Act and the Workers’ Compensation Act (except Part II). Murray Scott, the former Speaker of the House and a newcomer to cabinet, is Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Mr. Scott brings a wealth of experience in the justice system, having spent 20 years as a police officer in Moncton and Springhill. The MLA for Cumberland South was first elected in 1998 and has served as Speaker of the House since 1999. He is also Minister responsible for the Human Rights Act, the Regulations Act and Part II of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Brooke Taylor, who has served in the legislature since 1993, is the Minister of Natural Resources. The veteran MLA for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley is the former chair of the government caucus. Another new member of cabinet is Ron Chisholm, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Minister responsible for the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission Act. Mr. Chisholm is the MLA for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour and is current chair of the government caucus. Bill Dooks is the new Minister of Energy and another new face in cabinet. The MLA for Eastern Shore since 1999, Mr. Dooks has a background in banking and established a construction and development company 25 years ago. He is currently vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Resources, a member of the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Veterans Affairs. The newest member of the legislature, Judy Streatch, is the new Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. Ms. Streatch has been the MLA for Chester-St. Margaret’s since winning a byelection in 2005. She is a former French Immersion teacher. She is also Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, the Liquor Control Act, the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act, and the Heritage Property Act.