Cabinet Size Unchanged Following Shuffle

Premier's Office

December 29, 1999 10:00 AM

Premier John Hamm today announced a realignment of cabinet
responsibilities affecting four members of the Executive Council.
The cabinet's size and membership remains unchanged at 11 members
plus the Premier, still the smallest executive council in recent
history.

"The changes balance the ministers' workloads more effectively,"
said the premier. "When I named the original cabinet five months
ago, I said we'd monitor that closely and make adjustments when
they were required. That's what I'm doing today."

Premier Hamm said keeping the cabinet at its present size
reflects the current reality in Nova Scotia.

"This is a province that can't afford more government," he said.

Housing and Municipal Affairs Minister Angus MacIsaac assumes
responsibility for the Department of Labour and the Workers'
Compensation Board in addition to his existing portfolio.

Human Resources Minister John Chataway assumes responsibility for
the Department of Environment in addition to his existing
portfolio.

Ron Russell becomes the new Minister of Transportation and Public
Works, and holds his portfolio as Minister responsible for the
Priorities and Planning Secretariat.

Gordon Balser retains three key portfolios - Economic
Development, the Petroleum Directorate and the Sydney Steel
Corporation.

The premier also announced changes at the senior level of the
public service.

Ed Cramm is the new deputy minister of Community Services. Mr.
Cramm has an extensive background in the development of social
policy, having served as the deputy minister of Health. He is
also a former deputy of Municipal Affairs, and most recently was
deputy minister of Economic Development.

Ron L'Esperance takes over as the new deputy minister of Economic
Development. Mr. L'Esperance leaves Community Services where he
was deputy minister and previously, administrator of the income
support programs. During his time at Community Services, Mr.
L'Esperance worked extensively in developing community-based
initiatives.

Howard Windsor has been named deputy minister of Transportation
and Public Works. Mr. Windsor was recently acting deputy for the
new Department of Tourism and Culture, and prior to that was
deputy minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs.

Brian Stonehouse, who has been serving as acting deputy minister
for the Department of Housing and Municipal Affairs has been
confirmed as deputy minister for that department. He was formerly
executive director of the housing branch of the department.

Michele McKenzie, currently executive director of the Nova Scotia
Marketing Agency is the acting deputy minister of Tourism and
Culture. Ms. MacKenzie is a former executive director of Tourism
Nova Scotia.

All the deputy ministerial appointees are career public servants.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Premier John Hamm has reassigned some of his senior cabinet

ministers.

     Housing and Municipal Affairs Minister Angus MacIsaac takes

on the Department of Labour and the Workers' Compensation Board.

     Ron Russell becomes the new Minister of Transportation and

Public Works and keeps his position as the minister responsible

for the Priorities and Planning Secretariat.

     Human Resources Minister John Chataway takes on the

Department of Environment.

     Gordon Balser retains the portfolios of Economic

Development, the Petroleum Directorate and Sydney Steel.

     Hamm says the changes balance the ministers' workloads more
effectively.

     Five deputy ministers have also been reassigned.

     Ed Cramm moves from Economic Development to Community

Services, Ron L'Esperance goes from Community Services to

Economic Development.

     Howard Windsor has been moved to Transportation and Public

Works from Tourism and Culture.

     Brian Stonehouse takes on Housing and Municipal Affairs

where he has been acting deputy minister.

     And Michele McKenzie has been named acting deputy minister

of Tourism and Culture.

-30-

Contact: Rob Batherson
         Premier's Office
         902-424-6601
         E-mail: batherrk@gov.ns.ca

cab                      December 29, 1999         4: 00 p.m.