McNeil faces long list of possible cabinet ministers

When it comes time to select a cabinet, Liberal premier-designate Stephen McNeil will have a good mix of seasoned veterans and high-profile newcomers to choose from.

Liberals to govern Nova Scotia for the first time in 14 years

Liberal leader Stephen McNeil campaigns with Joachim Stroink, right. Stronik is one of the new faces elected as part of the Liberal majority Tuesday. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

When it comes time to select a cabinet, Liberal premier-designate Stephen McNeil will have a good mix of seasoned veterans and high-profile newcomers to choose from.

Diana Whalen, the party's finance critic, is widely expected to play a prominent part. First elected in 2003, the former managerial consultant with an MBA also served as a municipal councillor in Halifax before turning to provincial politics.

The health-care portfolio could be handed to Leo Glavine. The party's longtime health critic is a former high school administrator from the Annapolis Valley who was first elected in 2003.

Guiding the Health Department will be a big challenge because Liberals have promised to shrink the number of health authorities from 10 to two.

On the education front, McNeil could turn to Karen Casey, a former Conservative education minister and health-care administrator who crossed the floor to join the Liberals in 2011.

Other prominent Liberal veterans to watch are former caucus whip Kelly Regan, a former journalist with CTV, and Dartmouth-area MLA Andrew Younger, who made a name for himself as a feisty Opposition critic with a special talent for getting under the skin of NDP cabinet ministers.

As well, the Liberal party's former house leader and justice critic, Michel Samson, is expected to land a cabinet post. The bilingual lawyer with Acadian roots in Cape Breton was first elected in 1998 and later served as one of the province's youngest cabinet ministers, holding the environment portfolio.

As for the new faces in the Liberal caucus, Halifax entrepreneur Joachim Stroink - owner of an outdoor adventure store - could play a leading role as McNeil visited his riding throughout the campaign.

In Antigonish, former university professor Randy Delorey - another newcomer - has an impressive resume that includes an MBA and experience as a lecturer in the Faculty of Management at St. Francis Xavier University.

The Liberal party has been on the opposition benches for 14 years.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.