Nova Scotia's new Liberal government will have a 16-member cabinet, led by Premier Stephen McNeil who became the province's 28th premier in a swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.
McNeil and his new cabinet were sworn in by Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant at King's Theatre in Annapolis Royal, the province's former capital city.
"I am so humbled to be given this opportunity to be the premier of the province of Nova Scotia," McNeil said.
"Our province has undertaken a historic journey since the last time this beautiful town was the seat of government. Today, that journey begins with a new chapter."
As expected, all nine returning Liberal MLAs have been given cabinet posts and they will be joined by six newly-elected politicians.
Long-standing Liberals are getting the key government positions.
Diana Whalen, the finance critic for many years, has been appointed Minister of Finance and deputy premier. Former health critic Leo Glavine takes over the health portfolio as the Minister of Health and Wellness.
Karen Casey, who was education minister under a previous Progressive Conservative government, has been appointed the Liberal Minister of Education.
The full list of appointments:
- Joanne Bernard: Minister of Community Services.
- Karen Casey: Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
- Zach Churchill: Minister of Natural Resources.
- Keith Colwell: Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
- Randy Delorey: Minister of Environment.
- Lena Diab: Minister of Immigration, Minister of Justice.
- Mark Furey: Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.
- Leo Glavine: Minister of Seniors, Minister of Health and Wellness.
- Tony Ince: Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
- Labi Kousoulis: Minister of Public Service Commission.
- Geoff MacLellan: Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
- Kelly Regan: Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.
- Michel Samson: Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, Minister of Acadian Affairs.
- Diana Whalen: Minister of Finance.
- Andrew Younger: Minister of Energy.
The rookie MLAs who have been appointed include Joanne Bernard, the former executive director of Alice Housing, who becomes the new Minister of Community Services.
Tony Ince — the Liberal who beat former premier Darrell Dexter — is taking over as the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
This 16-member cabinet is bigger than ones seen under the New Democrats but it's something the Liberals promised in order not to overburden ministers.
It's the first time in at least 59 years since the swearing-in ceremony has taken place outside of Halifax.
Government spokesman Brian Taylor said officials at the legislative library went back as far as 1954 and could not find another instance of the ceremony happening outside of Halifax.
The Liberals won 33 of the 51 seats in the legislature in the Oct. 8 election. The Progressive Conservatives won 11 and the New Democrats held on to seven seats.