On August 17th, a provincial election was held in Nova Scotia. Contrary to what the polling and pundits were predicting, Tim Houston led his PC party to a majority win.

The 55 ridings broke down as follows:
– 31 PC
– 17 Liberal
– 6 NDP
– 1 Independent

Tim Houston will lead 16 re-elected PC MLAs and 15 rookie MLAs. He was sworn in on August 31 along with the members of his Executive Council.

During the campaign, the PC party released a ten page platform document with the title, Solutions for Nova Scotians.

The party also provided a background document which provides further details regarding their platform promises. Solutions for Nova Scotians – Full length platform-20.pdf

The main themes in the PC party's platform are as follows:

Health care:

– Expand telehealth for Nova Scotians without a family doctor
– Improved salaries for physicians and establish a physician pension fund
– Establish a clinical health services plan for every region
– Increase use of operating rooms from the current Monday to Friday 9-5 to address waitlist backlog
– Establish a Chronic Illness Treatment and Prevention program for in-home treatment focusing on those with chronic illnesses
– A $500 per child tax credit for registration fees in sports and arts programming
– Provide coverage for cancer drugs for fire fighters
– Offer tax credits up to $20,000 to give families access to fertility treatments
– Provide all Nova Scotians with Universal Access to Mental Health and Addiction Services
– Establish a 24/7 Telehealth Counselling Service and create a 9-8-8 mental health crisis line
– Provide a $500 Adopt-a-Dog Tax Credit

– Open an additional 2,500 single room long-term care beds within three years
– Hiring 2,000 health professionals to meet national staff-to-patient ratios
– Establish a $500 Senior's Care Grant for certain household services

– Better Pay Cheque Guarantee – businesses can reinvest 50% or corporate income tax revenues to hire new staff or increase employee wages
– Establish a Buy Local program called Nova Scotia Loyal
– Develop a province-wide tourism identity program

– All trades workers aged 30 and under will pay no provincial income tax on their first $50,000 in earnings
– Target of doubling our population to 2,000,000 by 2060
– Infrastructure: Extend internet to every household
– Double the budget for gravel roads
– $1 million Rural Rink Sustainability Fund
– Implement a deed transfer tax and a property tax levy on individuals who don't pay income tax in Nova Scotia

– Establish a Healthy Living Grant for all schools to encourage active lifestyles
– Install physical activity credits for grades 11 and 12
– Double (2,000 students) opportunities for high school students to study skill trades

– Introduce Enviro-goals and Climate Change Reduction Act
– 20% of total land and water mass will be protected for conservation by 2030
– 30% of vehicles sold by 2030 to be zero-emission
– 80% of electricity must be supplied by renewable energy by 2030
– Fully implement the Lahey Report on Forest Practices
– Toughest penalties in Canada for corporate and individual littering

Premier Tim Houston announced his new Executive Council on August 31, 2021

The premier will also serve as President of the Executive Council, the Minister of Trade and the Minister responsible for Intergovernmental Affairs and the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness.

Allan MacMaster will be the deputy premier and will also be the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, the Minister of Gaelic Affairs and the Minister responsible for Labour Relations.

Michelle Thompson will become the Minister of Health and Wellness. She will also oversee a newly created Office of Health Care Professionals Recruitment.

Brian Comer assumes responsibility for the Office of Mental Health and Addictions. He'll also be the Minister responsible for Youth and Communications Nova Scotia.

Barbara Adams takes on the new Department of Seniors and Long-term Care.

Karla MacFarlane is the new Minister of Community Services and Minister responsible for the Status of Women and the Office of L'nu Affairs.

Jill Balser will be the Minister of Labour Skills and Immigration and have responsibility for Apprenticeship. Brian Wong will lead a separate Department of Advanced Education.

Becky Druhan will be the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Pat Dunn will return to cabinet as the Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, which assumes responsibility of Tourism Nova Scotia. He'll also have responsibility for African Nova Scotian Affairs, the Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives and the Voluntary Sector.

Susan Corkum-Greek will be the new Minister of Economic Development.

Agriculture will be led by Greg Morrow.

Steve Craig will be the new Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Brad Johns is the new Minister of Justice and Attorney General. He's also responsible for Elections Nova Scotia, the Human Rights Commission and the Accessibility Act.

John Lohr is the Minister for the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing. He'll also have responsibility for the Emergency Management Office and Military Relations.

Kim Masland will lead the Department of Public Works, formerly Transportation and Active Transit.

Tory Rushton becomes Minister of the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, combining the former Departments of Lands and Forestry and Energy and Mines.

Environment and Climate Change will be led by Tim Halman who has also been appointed Chair of Treasury Board.

Colton LeBlanc takes on the Public Service Commission, Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services, and Acadian Affairs and Francophonie.

The Premier also announced significant changes to the Deputy Minister positions in the Nova Scotia government.

Premier Tim Houston announced changes to the senior ranks of Nova Scotia's public service on August 31. These changes do not include government's new health-care leadership structure, which will be announced at a later date.

"Our government looks forward to working with Nova Scotia's superb, professional public service as we implement the program we were elected to deliver," said Premier Houston. "I want to congratulate the new deputy ministers we are appointing into senior roles and thank departing officials for their service to the province."

Newly appointed deputy ministers include:

– April Howe, deputy minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, previously senior executive advisor to the deputy minister of Justice
– Karen Gatien, deputy minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, previously associate deputy minister, Education and Early Childhood Development
– Peter Hackett, deputy minister, Public Works, previously chief engineer, Transportation and Active Transit

Other members of the deputy team include:

– Laura Lee Langley, deputy minister to the Premier, Clerk of Executive Council, CEO of Communications Nova Scotia, and Head of the Public Service
– Paul LaFleche, Departments of Seniors and Long-Term Care and Municipal Affairs and Housing
– Tracey Taweel, Community Services and Status of Women
– Justin Huston, L'nu Affairs, African Nova Scotian Affairs, Gaelic Affairs and Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage
– Cathy Montreuil, Education and Early Childhood Development
– Scott Farmer, Economic Development and Environment and Climate Change
– Loretta Robichaud, Agriculture
– Candace Thomas, Justice
– Catherine Berliner, Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives
– Kelliann Dean, Intergovernmental Affairs and Finance and Treasury Board
– Nancy MacLellan, Advanced Education
– Andrea Anderson, Public Service Commission
– Joanne Munroe, Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services
– Ava Czapalay, Labour Skills and Immigration
– Fred Crooks, Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Excellence

Deputy and associate deputy ministers leaving the public service include:

– Duff Montgomerie, former deputy minister of Labour and Advanced Education
– Bernie Miller, former deputy minister of Office of Strategy Management
– Julie Towers, former deputy minister of Environment and Climate Change
– Simon D'Entremont, former deputy minister of Energy and Mines
– Eiryn Devereaux, former deputy minister of Infrastructure and Housing
– Késa Munroe-Anderson, former deputy minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage
– Sandra Cascadden, former associate deputy minister of Health and Wellness
– Paula Bond, former associate deputy minister of Health and Wellness

All changes are effective immediately.

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