Nova Scotia

Ex-premier MacDonald to run Gaelic College

Former Nova Scotia premier Rodney MacDonald is the new CEO of the Gaelic College in Cape Breton.

Former Nova Scotia premier Rodney MacDonald is brushing up on his Gaelic.

On Sept. 15, MacDonald starts a new job as CEO of the Gaelic College in Cape Breton, a school devoted to the preservation of the Gaelic language and Celtic arts and culture.

"Well, my Gaelic is not really very strong, to be honest," he told CBC News on Friday.

But his ties to the school in St. Ann's are.

The professional fiddler and step dancer was a teacher at the college and, as minister of tourism, culture and heritage, was responsible for it.

"Being the former minister responsible for the Gaelic College Act and being a former premier no doubt has had some impact in helping me attain the position," MacDonald said.

MacDonald was the Progressive Conservative MLA for Inverness for 10 years. He became premier after winning the PC leadership in 2006, but lost the election to the NDP in 2009.

Last year, he was appointed to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board.

MacDonald has big plans for the college. He said he hopes to form partnerships with Cape Breton University and other institutions and attract more students.