Nova Scotia sends record 12 women to Province House in election
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | 10:07 PM ET
Nova Scotia's legislative assembly will have a record number of female members when it reconvenes after voters elected a total of 12 women candidates in Tuesday's poll.
The province's next premier, Darrell Dexter, will have nine female MLAs to choose from when selecting the cabinet of Atlantic Canada's first NDP government.
Lenore Zann dismissed any talk of a cabinet position, insisting she would leave that completely up to Dexter.
Zann's candidacy in Truro-Bible Hill became a flashpoint of controversy during the election campaign when Liberals circulated a partially nude photo of the veteran actor.
Zann said her professional background will help make her a good MLA.
"To be a really good actor, you need to be empathetic," she said. "I like people; I like hearing their stories."
The Liberals elected Kelly Regan in Bedford-Birch Cove and Diana Whalen in Halifax Clayton Park.
Regan's victory means there will now be two Liberal politicians in the Regan household. Her husband, Geoff, is the federal MP for Halifax West.
Karen Casey of Colchester North will be the lone female Progressive Conservative.
The following women were elected on Tuesday night:
- NDP Pam Birdsall, Lunenburg
- PC Karen Casey, Colchester North (re-elected)
- NDP Vicky Conrad, Queens (re-elected)
- NDP Ramona Jennex, Kings South
- NDP Becky Kent, Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage (re-elected)
- NDP Maureen MacDonald, Halifax Needham (re-elected)
- NDP Marilyn More, Dartmouth South-Portland Valley (re-elected)
- NDP Denise Peterson-Rafuse, Chester-St. Margaret's
- NDP Michele Raymond, Halifax Atlantic (re-elected)
- Liberal Kelly Regan, Bedford-Birch Cove
- Liberal Diana Whalen, Halifax Clayton Park (re-elected)
- NDP Lenore Zann, Truro-Bible Hill
A record number of women ran in the provincial election, although at 54, they still only represented one-quarter of the names on Tuesday's ballot.
The NDP had 16 women carry its banner in the campaign, up from 11 in the 2006 election.
The Progressive Conservative party fielded seven female candidates, the same number as in 2006.
The Liberals ran 11 women, one fewer than the 2006 election.
The Green party, with 20 women running, had the most female candidates.
When the election was called in May, nine of Nova Scotia's 52 MLAs were women, one of the lowest ratios in the country. Only New Brunswick and the three territories had fewer women in their legislatures.