N.S. Premier-designate Tim Houston, new cabinet to be sworn-in Aug. 31
Premier-designate Tim Houston and his new cabinet will be sworn-in on Tuesday, August 31 in Halifax by Lieutenant Governor Arthur LeBlanc.
Houston, 51, led the Progressive Conservatives to win a majority government on Tuesday, throwing the Liberals from power after eight years.
How many cabinet positions there will be in a new PC government and who will fill them remains unknown.
"The cabinet ministers are the decision makers, they're the head of the department, they will represent the government in a very public way,” said Lori Turnbull, director of the Dalhousie School of Public Administration.
Experts say selecting a cabinet is a complicated task.
"He's going to have some balance of the regions of the province and make sure the cabinet looks regionally representative,” said Turnbull.
"Halifax is not a stronghold of the PC party but there will have to be strong ministers from Halifax so the PC MLA's from the Halifax Regional Municipality by definition stand a good chance of landing in the cabinet,” said Tom Urbaniak, a political science professor at Cape Breton University.
Urbaniak says there will likely be at least one member of the new cabinet who is fluent in French and representation from Cape Breton.
"It will be impossible to imagine a cabinet without representation from Cape Breton,” said Urbaniak. “There were healthcare professionals elected as MLA's, people like Brian Comer, people like Colten LeBlanc, they stand a very good chance of landing in the cabinet."
"Someone like Alan McMaster is a Cape Breton MLA, has a lot of experience, has been in politics a long time, that would be kind of an obvious choice for me,” said Turnbull.
"I would think that Karla MacFarlane has a very good chance at being in the cabinet. She was acting leader for a while and from what I heard, everyone thought she did a wonderful job,” said Meredith Ralston, a professor of Women’s Studies and Political Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.
In total, there were 31 PC MLA’s elected to the legislature. Ralston says there could be a significant number of women named to cabinet.
"I think there may be gender parity, it depends how many people he puts in to the cabinet of course but with nine strong women to decide between, I think there's a good chance there will be lots of women in that cabinet,” said Ralston.
Ralston also thinks Michelle Thompson has a good chance at being in cabinet after defeating Justice Minister Randy Delorey.
For Turnbull, the most interesting cabinet pick will be who Houston names as Health Minister.
"He's made health the cornerstone of his campaign and I think that's how people will measure him. He's said that, that he'll measure his own performance by people telling them they have a family doctor, finally. So who is going to put in charge of finding family doctors,” said Turnbull.