Premier of Nova Scotia

The Premier of Nova Scotia is the first minister to the lieutenant governor of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia and presides over the Executive Council of Nova Scotia. Following the Westminster system, the premier is normally the leader of the political party which has the most seats in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly who is called upon by the lieutenant governor to form a government. As the province's head of government, the premier exercises considerable power.

Premier of Nova Scotia
Stephen McNeil

since October 22, 2013
Government of Nova Scotia
Office of the Premier
StyleThe Honourable
Member of
Reports toLegislative Assembly
AppointerLieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Inaugural holderHiram Blanchard
FormationJuly 4, 1867[1]
Salary$89,234.90 plus $112,791.20 (indemnity and allowances)[2]

The current Premier of Nova Scotia is Stephen McNeil, who was appointed on October 8, 2013[3] and was sworn in on October 22, 2013.[1] His party was re-elected in May 2017[4][5]


The Premier serves as president of the Executive Council (Cabinet).[6][7] He (or she, although Nova Scotia has not yet had a female premier) chooses the other members of the Cabinet, who are then appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.[6][8] As president of the Executive Council, the premier forms the government.[6][9] He or she leads the Executive Council’s decision making process as they develop and implement the government's priorities and policies.[7][9] The Premier establishes the Executive Council’s methods of operation and organization and that of its committees.[7]

Former Premiers of Nova Scotia

The first premier of the Colony of Nova Scotia in 1848 was James Boyle Uniacke.[8] He was the leader of the first responsible government in the overseas British Empire.[8]

Joseph Howe was Nova Scotia’s third premier and is known for the landmark trial that established freedom of the press in Nova Scotia.[8]

The first premier of the Province of Nova Scotia, after Canada’s confederation in 1867, was Hiram Blanchard. He served as premier for only 88 days.[8]

Sir John Sparrow David Thompson served the shortest term as a Nova Scotia premier, only 54 days, in 1882.[8] However, 10 years later he became Prime Minister of Canada.[8]

George Henry Murray was Nova Scotia’s longest serving premier. He served for 26 years and 188 days from July 20, 1896 until he voluntarily resigned on January 24, 1923.[8]

A bridge between Halifax and Dartmouth is named after former premier, Angus L. MacDonald who served terms before and after the Second World War.[8] He was respected for leading Nova Scotia out of the Great Depression and through the post-war years.[8] He was instrumental in having the Angus L. MacDonald bridge built, which significantly shortened travel time between the Halifax and Dartmouth.[10][11]

See also


  1. "PARLINFO — Nova Scotia". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  3. "4 changes Stephen McNeil is promising for Nova Scotia". CBC News. October 9, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  4. Scotia, Premier of Nova. "Premier of Nova Scotia". Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  5. "Re-elected McNeil signals tough line with N.S. unions, new help for health". The Chronicle Herald. 2017-05-31. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  6. Scotia, Province of Nova. "Executive Branch | About Executive Council |". Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  7. Scotia, Province of Nova. "President of the Executive Council | About Executive Council |". Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  8. 1952-, Walsh, Paul (1986). Political profiles : premiers of Nova Scotia. Halifax, N.S.: Nimbus. ISBN 0920852467. OCLC 16034755.
  9. Scotia, Province of Nova. "Executive Council Responsibilities | About Executive Council |". Retrieved 2018-07-09.
  10. 1937-, Chapman, Harry (2005). Crossings : fifty years of the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. Halifax, N.S.: Nimbus Pub. ISBN 1551095165. OCLC 57696953.
  11. Dale, Wilson. The big lift : redecking the Macdonald Bridge. Halifax Harbour Bridges (Nova Scotia),. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. ISBN 9780995960701. OCLC 987030336.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
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