Whalen, Younger, Diab get prominent posts
© Lawrence Powell – TC Media
Every seat in the house was packed and thunderous applause erupted as each new cabinet minister was sworn in by Minister Stephen McNeil Oct. 22 in Annapolis Royal.
“Welcome to Annapolis Royal! I am delighted to be here today in the birthplace of democracy in Nova Scotia,” McNeil said, as he welcomed the 220 audience members to Kings Theatre.
“Our province has undertaken a historic journey since this beautiful town was the seat of government. And today, that journey continues with a new chapter.
“This town and its people embody Nova Scotia's proud culture and heritage. Communities such as this are the cornerstone of our province. And, we must never forget both the importance of our history and the sacrifice and investments from extraordinary and celebrated towns such as Annapolis Royal.”
Annapolis Royal was the capital of Acadia and of Nova Scotia for almost 150 years – until Halifax was founded in 1749.
"I was very pleased to hear about the move to swear the provincial cabinet in in Annapolis Royal," said Ryan Scranton of the Annapolis Heritage Society. "As the ancient capital of Nova Scotia, we have a long history with the governance of this province. From the DeGannes - Cosby House, which was the residence of governors from both the French and British regimes, to sites around Fort Anne, there are many reminders of our time as capital."
The Annapolis Heritage Society operates O'Dell House Museum and Sinclair Inn Museum in Annapolis Royal, and North Hills Museum in Granville Ferry.
"I feel it is a positive nod to the history of our community and to rural Nova Scotia that this event is in our town," said Scranton.
Area residents lined the street outside the theatre and snapped photos of the new MLAs as they entered the building. Inside, in a room packed with media, municipal politicians and area residents, McNeil announced his 15-member cabinet, a mix of both newcomers and incumbents.
McNeil’s longtime friend and confident Leo Glavine from Kings West was given the posting of health and wellness, as well as seniors, while Halifax’s Diana Whalen was named minister of finance and deputy president of the executive council.
Keith Colwell was appointed to agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, while Michel Samson was named minister of economic and rural development and tourism and Acadian affairs. Colwell and Samson are currently the longest-serving Liberals in government.
Truro’s Karen Casey is now minister of education and early childhood development and minister responsible for youth – a position she held previously under a Tory government – while Kelly Regan is minister of labour and advanced education.