LO­CAL Cab­i­net shuf­fled

Size of in­ner cir­cle in­creases by one; for­mer min­is­ter re­in­stated

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE -

N.S. premier ex­pands, shuf­fles his cab­i­net.

Nova Sco­tia’s premier ex­panded cab­i­net by one mem­ber and brought back a for­mer min­is­ter in his first shuf­fle since the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment was elected nearly two years ago.

Un­der changes an­nounced at the leg­is­la­ture Fri­day, Stephen McNeil moved Lena Metlege Diab from the jus­tice port­fo­lio and named her immigration min­is­ter, mean­ing the gov­ern­ment would in­crease the size of cabi- net to 17 mem­bers from 16.

The depart­ment had been one of Diab’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in her pre­vi­ous job.

McNeil said cre­at­ing the stand­alone port­fo­lio sig­nals the im­por­tance he places on the immigration file.

“It’s an is­sue most Nova Sco­tians rec­og­nize we need to get right,” said McNeil. “We need to grow the pop­u­la­tion.”

Another no­table move saw for­mer energy min­is­ter An­drew Younger re­turned to cab­i­net in the en­vi­ron­ment port­fo­lio. Younger re­signed from cab­i­net in March to take a leave of ab­sence af­ter a woman was charged with as­sault­ing him.

McNeil said he is com­fort­able with bring­ing Younger back to the gov­ern­ment’s front bench af­ter grant­ing him leave to spend with his fam­ily.

“He’s been a ca­pa­ble min­is­ter. He ran the Depart­ment of Energy for us and did a tremen­dous job.”

Younger’s re­turn saw Randy Delorey move from en­vi­ron­ment to fi­nance and Diana Whalen from fi­nance to jus­tice.

Zach Churchill be­comes the new min­is­ter of mu­nic­i­pal af­fairs and min­is­ter of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Nova Sco­tia.

Back­bencher Lloyd Hines was sworn in as the only new mem­ber of cab­i­net, tak­ing over the nat­u­ral re­sources port­fo­lio.

Both the Op­po­si­tion Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives and the NDP ques­tioned the move to in­crease cab­i­net’s size dur­ing a time of gov­ern­ment aus­ter­ity.

“It sends the wrong mes­sage for the premier to add another cab­i­net min­is­ter to his in­ner cir­cle at a time when he’s telling ev­ery­one else to cut back,” said Tory Leader Jamie Bail­lie.

In other moves, McNeil named Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Karen Casey as chair of the Fi­nance and Trea­sury Board, while Labour and Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Kelly Re­gan takes on du­ties as the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for youth.



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