News release

Premier Announces New Build Nova Scotia CEO, Appointments to Senior Leadership Roles

David Benoit will serve as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of Build Nova Scotia, one of two new Crown corporations established to drive economic growth across the province.

Mr. Benoit, currently the Senior Executive Director for Strategic Investment and Infrastructure Planning with the Department of Health and Wellness, was the successful candidate in a national competition for the position. He joined the Province in April 2020 following a 30-year career with the Canadian Armed Forces as an engineering officer in the Royal Canadian Navy.

Premier Tim Houston made the announcement today, January 16.

“Mr. Benoit’s experience with planning and building infrastructure across the province and his leadership in role planning for the major healthcare redevelopments will serve him well in this new position,” said Premier Houston. “I thank outgoing interim CEO Wayne Crawley for his work during the transition.”

Mr. Benoit will begin in his new role Monday, January 23.

Premier Houston also announced appointments to fill senior leadership roles in the public service.

Elwin LeRoux will be the new Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. He has served as the associate deputy minister since September after leading the province’s largest regional centre for education and has decades of experience as a teacher, principal and administrator. Sara Halliday, senior executive director at the Department, steps into the associate deputy minister role.

Premier Houston thanked Rosalind Penfound, a former provincial deputy minister who returned to government to serve as interim deputy minister last September.

Dana MacKenzie will help represent Nova Scotia’s interests with other governments as the new Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Ms. MacKenzie had been the associate deputy minister at the Department of Justice since December 2021.

Two executive directors with the Department of Justice have been appointed as new associate deputy ministers: Michelle Higgins, currently Executive Director of Legal Services, and Chris Collett, Executive Director of Correctional Services.

“Since forming government 17 months ago, it has become clear to me there are many talented and passionate people who work within Nova Scotia's public service,” said Premier Houston. “I know that these dedicated and experienced people will help advance our priorities and serve Nova Scotians very well.”

Quick Facts:

  • Mr. Benoit’s last post with the navy was senior naval engineering officer on the East Coast and commanding officer of the fleet maintenance facility
  • the appointments of Ms. MacKenzie, Ms. Higgins and Mr. Collett are effective today
  • the appointments of Mr. LeRoux and Ms. Halliday are effective January 23
  • Build Nova Scotia manages and develops strategic provincial infrastructure to propel the province and economy forward, leading projects such as Nova Scotia’s high-speed internet initiative, environmental remediation work and healthcare infrastructure redevelopment
  • the recruitment for a CEO for Invest Nova Scotia is ongoing