News release

Cabinet Size Unchanged Following Shuffle

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.

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Contact:

Rob Batherson
Premier's Office 902-424-6601 E-mail: