Nova Scotia.

AuthorLocke, Cara
PositionLegislative Reports

When Nova Scotia was preparing its last Legislative Report in July 2021, rumours of an impending election campaign were aswirl. With the ink still fresh on the writs returned for 41st General Election, we now write to cover two major developments: 1. The newly-composed 64th General Assembly and 2. The legislative work the Assembly undertook during the First Session.

41st General Election and 64th General Assembly

As foreshadowed in our previous Report, on July 17, 2021, (the now former) Premier Iain Rankin (Timberlea-Prospect) visited Government House to ask the Lieutenant Governor to dissolve the Legislature. One month later, Nova Scotians chose a new House of Assembly. As a result, the Province now also has a new Premier, along with a new 19-member Executive Council.

Election of Members of the House of Assembly

Nova Scotia's 41st General Election was the first to unfold across 55 electoral districts, encompassing a four-seat increase in the House's size. Through redrawing existent boundaries and reviving protected districts, the additional four seats effectuated the voter parity recommended by the independent Electoral Boundaries Commission in 2012 (and again in 2019), as well as the constitutional right to effective representation interpreted by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal in 2017. (Reference re the Final Report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, 2017 NSCA 10.)

From the 759,341 Nova Scotians registered to vote, 55.67 per cent turned out for an election that brought an end to the tenure of the Liberal party, whose elected officials had run the Province for a period of almost eight years. In the end, the former leader of the Official Opposition Tim Houston (Pictou East) prevailed to stand as Nova Scotia's 30th Premier.

Eleven incumbents opted not to re-offer. Of those 40 incumbents who did indeed reoffer, seven were unseated (five Liberals (Halifax Citadel-Sable Island; Eastern Shore; Lunenburg; Antigonish; GuysboroughTracadie), one Progressive Conservative (NorthsideWestmount), and one Independent (Cape BretonRichmond)). Cape Bretoners were captivated by a nail-biting judicial recount in redistributed district of Glace-Bay-Dominion on August 30, 2021. The Supreme Court of Nova Scotia confirmed the victory of the presumptive Member-Elect, John White, with a total margin of 29 votes over the runner-up (a 4-vote correction to Elections Nova Scotia's total of 33 votes).

Coincidentally, the recount occurred simultaneously with the 4.5-hour-long SwearingIn Ceremony. On that same day, nearly all other Members-Elect convened caucus-by-caucus to take their constitutional oath and sign the roll.


Upon Commencement, the standings of registered parties in the 64th General Assembly were as...

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