June 9, 2016 4:43 pm

How many journalists does it take to run Nova Scotia’s government?

Premier-designate Stephen McNeil arrives at the legislature in Halifax on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

In the last six months, the government of Nova Scotia has scooped five former journalists into its top levels. Four hail straight from the newsroom and the fifth worked as a journalist in the ’80s and ’90s.

Premier Stephen McNeil wasn’t involved in hiring two of the journalists who work in the Executive Council Office, which he is the president of, however, he did hire the other three former reporters.

Asked Thursday what Nova Scotians should make of the spate of hirings McNeil said “they’ll recognize that the premier recognizes the great talent that’s in the press corp.”

Marilla Stephenson.

Marilla Stephenson

  • Title: Managing director of corporate and external relations, Executive Council Office
  • Left The Chronicle Herald in October 2014 for a contract with the oneNS commission, started with the executive council on June 1, 2016


Laurie Graham

  • Title: Principal secretary to the premier, Office of Premier Stephen McNeil
  • Left CTV in February, hired by McNeil in March

David Jackson

  • Title: Senior advisor media relations, Office of Premier Stephen McNeil
  • Was on strike with The Chronicle Herald, hired by McNeil in February


Jackie Foster

  • Title: Policy and outreach advisor, Executive Council Office
  • Left CTV in February to join government


Laura Lee Langley

  • Title: deputy minister of the Office of the Premier, deputy minister of Treasury and Policy Board, clerk of the Executive Council and head of the Public Service
  • Langley has held senior positions in government since 2004 when she was appointed the first assistant deputy minister of Communications Nova Scotia.
  • Langley was a journalist with MITV — now Global News — in the ’80s and ’90s.

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