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N.S. health minister to retire from politics after term ends

Health Minister Leo Glavine announced he is retiring from politics after his term ends in 2021. Julia Wong, 2014 /Global News

Nova Scotia Minister of Health Leo Glavine has announced he is stepping down after his term.

Glavine said in a Thursday cabinet meeting he will not be re-offering in the next election and is choosing to retire from politics.

But, he will carry out his term.

“I certainly plan to put my heart and soul into the next number of months,” Glavine said.

“The premier called upon me to fill the role of minister of health which I will certainly do until Feb. 6, and maybe the new premier will ask me to carry on, which I would certainly be honoured to do, as tough as it is.”

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Glavine, a former educator, has had nearly 18 years of political life. He was first elected MLA for Kings West in 2003.

“It’s a great honour to be able to serve my riding first, and then go to government and serve the province,” Glavine said.

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Glavine told cabinet it’s been an emotional day for him.

“To put the kind of time into an elected office that is required today, certainly my first thanks go to my wife Doris, my family. Probably the biggest reason of all at this stage of my life, to head back to private life and enjoy what the valley has to offer and what our province has to offer.”

Glavine said he now hopes to spend more time with his grandchildren.

He said he is grateful for the support of his colleagues.

“I’m reminded that politics is the ultimate in-the-team game,” Glavine said.

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McNeil discusses new cabinet appointments – Oct 13, 2020

“I’ve had the good fortune to have a number of people to be my sounding board during my time in office. I’ve had the good fortune to come into political life with Premier McNeil… We’re the only two remaining from the class of 2003, so maybe quite appropriate that as he leaves political office, I leave as well.”

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Glavine’s announcement comes just as Nova Scotia entered the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the Public Health team has put in hard work, which will certainly continue in the new year.

“We’ve had an exceptional team in public health and the premier to guide our province through what may be one of the most challenging and difficult periods in the 21st century and we’ll have to certainly see about that.”

Read more: An inside look at how Nova Scotia tests for COVID-19

Glavine said he’s grateful for what politics has thrown at him.

“There are no perfect answers or solutions to all problems, but to get up each day and face what’s on the plate of the province… has for me been a joy.”

“I have not missed a day of work in my 17 and a half years in political office. So, I’ve enjoyed the journey and I look forward now to the next stage of my life.”