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Iain Rankin sworn in as Nova Scotia premier, along with 16 cabinet ministers

Iain Rankin sworn in as Nova Scotia premier, along with 16 cabinet ministers
Iain Rankin sworn in as Nova Scotia premier, along with 16 cabinet ministers

اخبارالعرب 24-كندا:Tuesday 23 February 2021 11:03 AM Premier Iain Rankin is placing his two leadership rivals in prominent posts as part of his new cabinet.

Rankin and 16 cabinet ministers were sworn in during a ceremony Tuesday in Halifax. Along with being premier, the Timberlea-Prospect MLA is the minister of the Department of L'Nu Affairs, formerly the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, and responsible for youth, military relations and the Office of Citizen-Centred Approaches.

Halifax Citadel-Sable Island MLA Labi Kousoulis, the runner up to Rankin earlier this month in the Nova Scotia Liberal Party leadership, is the new finance minister. Kousoulis also becomes minister of the Department of Inclusive and Economic Growth, formerly the Business Department, and takes on responsibility for trade.

Antigonish MLA Randy Delorey, who finished third in the race, is the new justice minister and attorney general. He also becomes minister of labour relations.

Bedford MLA Kelly Regan continues on as minister of community services, along with becoming deputy premier. She's also taking on the Department of Seniors.

Rankin added three new people to cabinet on Tuesday, bringing in Hammonds Plains-Lucasville MLA Ben Jessome, Halifax Atlantic MLA Brendan Maguire and Kings South MLA Keith Irving. All three men are first-time cabinet ministers and all were prominent backers of Rankin's leadership bid from the day he launched his candidacy.

Jessome is the new minister of the Public Service Commission, Maguire takes on Municipal Affairs and Irving is the new minister of the Department of Environment and Climate Change as well as chair of treasury and policy board. With the environment being so central to Rankin's campaign, Irving becomes a key figure in cabinet.

Rankin undergoes a COVID-19 test before being sworn in. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill goes from four years of heavy lifting as education minister to even heavier lifting as the new health minister. He will also oversee the new Office of Mental Health and Addictions. Churchill takes over the portfolio in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic as the province continues the rollout of its vaccine program.

Chuck Porter is the new lands and forestry minister and also becomes responsible for the Department of Energy and Mines. Porter's role also becomes prominent, as Rankin has pledged to implement the recommendations of the Lahey Review on forestry practices this year.

Derek Mombourquette is the new education minister, marking a major promotion for the former energy minister. 

Tony Ince will lead the new Office of Equity and Anti-Racism, as well as continuing to oversee the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs. He will also now oversee Communications Nova Scotia.

Lena Metlege Diab will continue as immigration minister as well as being responsible for the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, as well as Acadian Affairs and Francophonie.

Geoff MacLellan, the only person to be included in cabinet who has announced they will not re-offer in the next election, will oversee the new Infrastructure and Housing Department, while Lloyd Hines will be minister of the Department of Transportation and Active Transit.

Keith Colwell continues as minister of agriculture, and of fisheries and aquaculture, Patricia Arab stays on as minister of Service Nova Scotia and internal services, and Suzanne Lohnes-Croft remains minister of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, as well as Gaelic Affairs.

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