The Executive Branch of Government is generally referred to as the government. Technically, the word government means the Lieutenant Governor acting by and with the advice of the Executive Council, correctly referred to as the Governor-in-Council. Executive Council is the decision-making authority for the Government of Nova Scotia.
Members of the Executive Council, known as ministers, collectively form the Executive Council, also known as Cabinet. By convention, Cabinet ministers are normally MLAs. Ministers are chosen by the Premier and appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, under the Executive Council Act. By tradition in Nova Scotia, the Premier is appointed President of the Executive Council. Members of the Executive Council are ministers of the Crown, whether or not they have been appointed to preside over a department. Appointments are made under the Great Seal of the Province to hold office and preside over departments.
The Executive Council Act lists the ministers' offices. Ministers are assigned to oversee one or more government departments or agencies, along with other duties as prescribed by statute. Minister without Portfolio is the title given to a member of the Executive Council who does not preside over a department. The Governor-in-Council may, from time to time, assign other responsibilities to any department or member of the Executive Council.