Deputy Minister - Candace Thomas

Biography

Candace Thomas was appointed Deputy Minister of the Department of Justice, Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister of the Office of Social Innovation and Integrative Approaches in April 2020.

Candace has practiced law in Nova Scotia for more than 20 years, the last 15 as a corporate partner at Stewart McKelvey, where she co-chaired the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She previously led the firm’s Owner-Managed Business Practice Group.

Along with her corporate leadership roles, Candace is an active community leader. She’s a champion of literacy and equality through her current work with the East Preston Empowerment Academy Society, and past work with the Black Business Initiative Society and the Halifax Central Library. She also serves as chair of Dalhousie University’s Board of Governors and is a member of the International Women’s Forum.

Candace is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and the Canadian Bar Association. She received her Queen’s Counsel designation in 2017, and also received the Community Service Award from the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Bar Association in 2017. Candace graduated from Saint Mary’s University and Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law.

Current role

Deputy Minister, Department of Justice

The Deputy Minister of the Department of Justice oversees the operation of the justice system. The deputy minister also provides strong financial and organizational leadership.

Responsibilities include:

  • implementing the department’s mandate and making sure the department meets its goals
  • leading the department in the areas of public safety and security, court services, maintenance enforcement, victim services, legal services, correctional services, restorative justice, and diversity and inclusion, including the Accessibility Directorate
  • championing access to justice and the rule of law
  • representing the department within the community

Deputy Attorney General

The Deputy Attorney General provides advice to government on legal matters.

Responsibilities include:

  • leading the development of policy that recognizes and includes access to justice and the rule of law
  • building relationships with stakeholder groups and communities

Deputy Minister, Office of Social Innovation and Integrative Approaches

The Deputy Minister of the Office of Social Innovation and Integrative Approaches works across government, with a strong connection to the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, Office of Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Community Services, the Status of Women and the Accessibility Directorate.

Responsibilities include:

  • establishing and leading the Social Innovation and Integrative Approaches portfolio
  • making sure that the learnings from the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry are reflected in government policies, planning and activities
  • building relationships with stakeholder groups and communities
  • promoting social inclusion and restorative approaches
  • representing the office within the community

Previous roles

  • Partner, Stewart McKelvey
  • Co-chair, Stewart McKelvey’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • Leader, Stewart McKelvey’s Owner-Managed Business Practice Group
  • Co-chair, Halifax Central Library inaugural capital campaign