News release

Balser Named Energy Minister; Olive and Clarke Join Cabinet

PREMIER'S OFFICE--Balser Named Energy Minister; Olive and Clarke Join Cabinet


Premier John Hamm today named Gordon Balser minister for the new Department of Energy. Mr. Balser was serving as Minister of the Office of Economic Development. Premier Hamm also appointed MLA Tim Olive and MLA Cecil Clarke as members of cabinet.

"Mr. Balser will now be able to devote his abilities full time to the Department of Energy," said the premier. "I'm confident his focus on the future will help to increase the benefits from our non-renewable resources for all Nova Scotians."

The intention to establish a separate energy department and minister were announced in Seizing the Opportunity, the province's energy strategy, which was released in December 2001.

"The time has also come to provide a stronger voice at the cabinet table for all Nova Scotians, whether they live in Dartmouth or Donkin," said the premier. "Nova Scotia will still have the smallest cabinet in the country with the exception of Prince Edward Island. But a balanced budget gives us the opportunity and flexibility to better reflect the interests of all Nova Scotians, regardless of where they live."

Cecil Clarke has been named the Minister responsible for the Office of Economic Development and for Nova Scotia Business Incorporated. He will also be responsible for the administration of the Innovation Corporation Act.

"Under our growth strategy, Nova Scotia has become one of Canada's leaders in economic growth. Last month, our province hit employment numbers that we have not seen in over 25 years of tracking. This spring, Cape Breton is seeing job numbers at a 15- year high," noted the premier. "Mr. Clarke's experience in community development makes him ideally suited to build on this success for the future."

Tim Olive has been appointed Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act. Since 1999, Mr. Olive has served as chair of the government caucus.

"Building on success also means ensuring that all Nova Scotians have a voice," said the premier. "With the appointment of Mr. Olive, we have added another voice of experience to the table. And a strong voice for the people of Dartmouth and all of the Halifax Regional Municipality."

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Ernest Fage assumes responsibility for the Public Service Commission while Deputy Premier Ron Russell assumes responsibility for all matters relating to the Sydney Steel Corporation.

"Nova Scotia has reached the turning point," said Premier Hamm. "Our province has balanced its books, refocused on the priorities of health and education and is on the cusp of tremendous economic prosperity."
"Today we've put in place the team that will meet the challenges before us in capitalizing on these tremendous opportunities," he said. "This is an experienced team dedicated to building a better future for the next generation of Nova Scotians."

The premier also named MLA Kerry Morash as chair of the government caucus to replace Mr. Olive.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Premier John Hamm announced several changes to cabinet today (June 17th).

Gordon Balser becomes full-time energy minister. The premier says the appointment will allow Mr. Balser to devote all of his energies to the new portfolio.

M-L-A Tim Olive is the new Minister of Natural Resources and M-L-A Cecil Clarke is the new minister for the Office of Economic Development and Nova Scotia Business Incorporated.

Nova Scotia will still have the second-smallest cabinet in Canada. The premier says the balanced budget is an opportunity for cabinet to better represent Nova Scotians.

-30-

Contact:

Robert Batherson
Premier's Office 902-424-6601 Cell: 902-478-1685 E-mail:

NOTE TO EDITORS: The following is a list of new cabinet responsibilities. Some ministerial responsibilities that are prescribed by statute are not listed.

PROVINCE OF NOVA SCOTIA: MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT

John F. Hamm Premier President of the Executive Council Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs MLA for Pictou Centre

Ronald S. Russell Deputy Premier Deputy President of the Executive Council Minister of Transportation and Public Works Minister assigned all affairs and matters relating to the Sydney Steel Corporation Act Government House Leader MLA for Hants West

Neil J. LeBlanc Minister of Finance Minister responsible for the administration of Part I of the Gaming Control Act Minister responsible for Acadian Affairs Minister assigned all affairs and matters relating to Nova Scotia Resources Limited MLA for Argyle

Ernest L. Fage Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Minister of the Public Service Commission MLA for Cumberland North

Gordon D. Balser Minister of Energy MLA for Digby-Annapolis

Michael G. Baker, Q.C. Attorney General and Minister of Justice Chair of Treasury and Policy Board Minister responsible for Communications Nova Scotia Minister responsible for the administration of the Human Rights Act Minister in charge of the Regulations Act Minister responsible for Part II of the Workers' Compensation Act Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs MLA for Lunenburg

Jamie Muir Minister of Health Chair of the Senior Citizens' Secretariat MLA for Truro-Bible Hill

Peter G. Christie Minister of Community Services Minister responsible for the Disabled Persons' Commission Act MLA for Bedford-Fall River

Jane S. Purves Minister of Education Minister responsible for the administration of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act Minister responsible for the administration of the Youth Secretariat Act MLA for Halifax Citadel

Rodney J. MacDonald Minister of Tourism and Culture Minister in charge of the administration of the Heritage Property Act Minister responsible for the administration of the Liquor Corporation Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission MLA for Inverness

Angus MacIsaac Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister responsible for the Residential Tenancies Act MLA for Antigonish

David Morse Minister of Environment and Labour Minister responsible for the Workers' Compensation Act (except Part II) Minister responsible for the administration of Part II of the Gaming Control Act Minister responsible for the Utility and Review Board MLA for Kings South

Timothy A. Olive Minister of Natural Resources Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Act MLA for Dartmouth South

Cecil P. Clarke Minister of the Office of Economic Development Minister responsible for the supervision and management of Nova Scotia Business Incorporated Minister responsible for the Innovation Corporation Act MLA for Cape Breton North

amc            June 17, 2002       1:07 P.M.