Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Liberals to usher in new premier in February

The Liberal Party of Nova Scotia will elect a new leader on Feb. 6, 2021 and the winner will automatically take the place of premier. The election is scheduled for six months to the day after Premier Stephen McNeil announced his intention to step down.

Candidates must register by Oct. 9

A successor for Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil will be elected by the Liberal party in February. (The Canadian Press)

Coming Feb. 6, 2021: a new premier for Nova Scotia.

That's the day the provincial Liberals will count their ballots in the race for party leadership, and by consequence, for the premiership.

The party vote is scheduled for exactly six months after Premier Stephen McNeil announced that he would step down as soon as a replacement could be chosen. He said he'll continue on as an MLA until the next provincial election, and then bow out from politics.

The Liberals released the first details of the leadership race Saturday after a meeting of the party board.

We'll know what the ballot will look like by Oct. 9, which is the cut-off for registration, but several Liberal politicians have already expressed their interest in the prize.

Immigration Minister Lena Metlege Diab and former Community Services minister Joanne Bernard both told CBC they're interested in running, while Education Minister Zach Churchill, federal Liberal MP Sean Fraser and Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin have all said they're considering their options.

After toying with the idea, Business Minister Geoff MacLellan told reporters last week that he'd decided against running. 

The first major hurdle for candidates will be to drum up the $60,000 entrance fee, which is made up of a $50,000 registration fee and a $10,000 conditionally refundable deposit.

The party said it would release the complete rules of procedure for the leadership race on Sept. 14.

The party is holding the election by electronic and phone voting because of COVID-19.

The deadline for membership registration is Jan. 7.