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N.S. deputy premier Karen Casey will not be reoffering in the next provincial election

Finance Minister Karen Casey briefs reporters on the Nova Scotia provincial budget for 2020-2021 at the legislature in Halifax on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Deputy premier Karen Casey announced Thursday that she will not reoffer in the next election.

Casy has been the MLA for Colchester North since 2006.

She was named deputy premier in 2017 and is also the minister of finance and treasury board, as well as the chair of the Treasury and Policy Board. She has served previously in the education and health portfolios.

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“I grew up in Colchester North, so it is a part of the province that I dearly love, so it was special to be able to represent those constituents in the provincial legislature,” Casey told Global News.

She said she was proud to have been part of the current government after serving her constituents over the past 15 years.

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“We have high population numbers, we have lots of immigration, we have Nova Scotians coming back to the province and we have students who are staying here to work,” said Casey.

“It is a very positive outlook that we have a positive history in the last five years. I’m happy to say I’ve done my service to my constituents, I’m happy with the work we’ve achieved and it’s time to let someone else represent Colchester North.”

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In the meantime, Casey said she will focus on spending more time with her four grandkids.

Premier Stephen McNeil thanked Casey for her years of service, saying she has “played an integral role in government.”

McNeil said Casey played a role in returning the province to good fiscal management while also investing in health, education and other priorities of Nova Scotians.

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“She has set a standard of hard work, integrity and respect that is second to none. As deputy premier and minister, she has always carried out her duties in the best interest of all Nova Scotians, and I am grateful that we have had the opportunity to work together,” McNeil said in a statement.

Casey said her role should be open for all who wish to apply and gender should not be a determining factor.

“Having women come into politics and be part of cabinet and decision making was something I was very proud of. But I give full credit to that not to myself but to our premier,” said Casey.