Nova Scotia

N.S. Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab to run for Parliament

Diab will resign from her seat in the Nova Scotia legislature when the Liberals set a nomination date is for the riding of Halifax West.

Metlege Diab is seeking the federal Liberal nomination for Halifax West.

Labour Minister Lena Metlege Diab will step away for provincial politics to seek the federal Liberal nomination for Halifax West. (Robert Short/CBC)

Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab is taking a run at federal politics.

The Halifax Armdale MLA announced Tuesday she intends to seek the Liberal Party of Canada nomination for the riding of Halifax West. That nomination became open following the retirement announcement of long-time MP Geoff Regan.

Diab will maintain her seat in the legislature and cabinet portfolios for now, but a spokesperson said when a nomination date is set for Halifax West she will resign. Provincial legislation requires an MLA to resign when they win a nomination or are appointed by a party as a candidate for office at another level of government.

In a news release, Metlege Diab said leaving the provincial scene was a difficult decision.

"I have loved my time in provincial politics, but after a lot of thought and consultation with my family, friends and colleagues, I am ready to take my experience and talents to advocate for Nova Scotians in Parliament."

A Halifax-based lawyer, Metlege Diab was first elected to the Nova Scotia legislature in 2013 when the Liberals formed a majority government. She was re-elected in 2017.

Former premier and cabinet ministers won't re-offer

Along with the immigration portfolio, Diab is also the province's labour and advanced education minister. Prior to those files, she was the province's first female justice minister and attorney general.

She marks the tenth Liberal MLA to declare they won't run in the next provincial election.

Former premier Stephen McNeil and Hant East MLA Margaret Miller have both already retired from politics. Joining them in departing whenever the next election is called will be Karen Casey, Mark Furey, Leo Glavine, Bill Horne, Geoff MacLellan, Chuck Porter and Gordon Wilson.