Liberal MLA and cabinet minister Lena Metlege Diab announced Tuesday she is stepping down to make a run for the federal Liberals.
Diab has represented the riding of Halifax Armdale since 2013, and served in a number of different portfolios, including as the province’s first female Attorney General, Minister of Immigration, and most recently, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.
“This was a difficult decision for me,” Diab said in a statement.
“I have loved my time in provincial politics but after a lot of thought and consultation with my family, friends and colleagues, I am ready to take my experience and talents to advocate for Nova Scotians in Parliament,” she added.
Diab will be seeking the federal nomination in Halifax West, a riding held by Liberal Geoff Regan.
In late March, Regan, who served as Speaker of the House from 2015 to 2019, announced he wasn’t seeking re-election.
Halifax West was a solid Conservative riding from 1979 to 1993, but has been represented by Regan since, with the exception of a three-year stint when the NDP’s Gordon Earle held the seat from 1997 to 2000.
Diab is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants to Canada. Born in Halifax, she lived in Lebanon from the age of two, returning with her family to Halifax at the age of 11.