Nova Scotia

Diana Whalen taking leave from Nova Scotia cabinet after heart attack

Diana Whalen is taking a 'brief leave' from cabinet after being hospitalized on Monday following a heart attack but is expected to make a full recovery.

Energy Minister Michel Samson taking on duties of justice minister, attorney general and deputy premier

Diana Whalen was hospitalized on Monday. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Nova Scotia's minister of justice is taking a "brief leave" from cabinet after being hospitalized on Monday with a heart attack. 

A news release from the premier's office says Diana Whalen, a veteran of the Liberal caucus and the province's deputy premier, is expected to make a full recovery. 

Premier Stephen McNeil said in the release that he's looking forward to her return to cabinet.

  "We wish Diana well and hope she makes a speedy recovery," McNeil said. "She is a valuable member of the team and we are looking forward to having her back as soon as possible."

  Energy Minister Michel Samson will be the acting justice minister and attorney general while Whalen is on leave for treatment.

Whalen was elected as a member of the legislature for Halifax Clayton Park in 2003, and re-elected in 2006, 2009 and in the last provincial election in 2013. 

The former city councillor also ran for the Liberal leadership, but lost to McNeil. 

She served as the province's finance minister before being shuffled into the justice portfolio. She was a management consultant prior to entering politics, and lived in South Korea, Australia and Jamaica in the 1980s.