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N.S. Liberal leader Iain Rankin announces Opposition critics

Click to play video: 'O’Toole Tories cheer Nova Scotia PC win, Trudeau Liberals look for lessons' O’Toole Tories cheer Nova Scotia PC win, Trudeau Liberals look for lessons
In Tuesday night’s provincial election, the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party secured a majority government, forcing Iain Rankin’s incumbent Liberals into the Official Opposition spot. It was a result few foresaw, but according to political observers, it’s one that could contain a few lessons for Justin Trudea’s Liberals as they seek another mandate in Ottawa. Reporter Elizabeth McSheffrey has the details – Aug 18, 2021

Three weeks after losing the Nova Scotia election to Progressive Conservative leader Tim Houston, Liberal Leader Iain Rankin has announced his Liberal MLA critic roles.

The Liberals elected 17 MLAs on Aug. 17. The Progressive Conservatives elected a majority government with 31 seats, while the NDP scooped up six.

In a release from the Liberal party, Rankin described his MLAs as “the strongest opposition in the province’s history.”

Read more: N.S. Premier Tim Houston and 18 ministers — including 7 women — sworn into office

Rankin, along with being the leader of the official opposition, will also become the critic for the office of L’nu Affairs, Gaelic Affairs, Trade, Intergovernmental Affairs, Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness and Youth.

Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill, who has previously served as Health Minister and Education Minister, is the new deputy leader of the opposition as well as the critic for Health and Wellness and Health Care Professionals Recruitment.

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Former deputy premier and Community Services minister Kelly Regan will be the new chair of the public accounts committee and critic for the Finance and Treasury Board, Seniors and Long-term Care.

Sydney-Membertou MLA Derek Mombourquette will serve as house leader and the critic for Education and Early Childhood Development.

Read more: Bad campaign, leader who didn’t connect with voters led to N.S. Liberal loss: experts

Brendan Maguire, MLA for Halifax Atlantic, is the new deputy house leader and critic for Community Services, Poverty and Homelessness.

Fairview-Clayton Park’s Patricia Arab is the caucus whip and the critic for the office of Mental Health and Addictions, Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services.

Keith Irving of Kings South will be caucus chair, critic for Environment and Climate Change and Agriculture.

Tony Ince, former minister for African Nova Scotian Affairs, will become the critic for that role as well as for the Public Service Commission.

Read more: Ex minister likes new head of African Nova Scotian Affairs, but questions appointment

Hammonds Plains-Lucasville MLA Ben Jessome is the new critic for Advanced Education and Military Relations.

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Rafah DiCostanzo, MLA for Clayton Park West, is the critic for Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage and Voluntary Sector.

New MLAs

Rookie MLA for Clare, Ronnie LeBlanc, is the new critic for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Acadian Affairs and Francophonie, while fellow new MLA Fred Tilley of Northside-Westmount serves as critic for Economic Development.

Former Halifax councillor-turned-MLA Lorelei Nicoll will be the critic for Municipal Affairs and Housing, Emergency Management Office and the Status of Women.

New Preston MLA Angela Simmonds will be critic for Justice, Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives, Human Rights Commission and Accessibility Act.

Read more: N.S. election a sign for federal Liberals: Pandemic performance not the only thing that matters

First-time Halifax Armdale MLA Ali Duale will be critic for Labour, Skills and Immigration, while Bedford South MLA Braedon Clark is the new critic for Public Works and Communications Nova Scotia.

And Carman Kerr, the new MLA for Annapolis, is the critic for Natural Resources and Renewables.

“I’m extremely proud to have such a diverse cast of talent and expertise forming our Official Opposition,” said Rankin in the release.

“We have a vital role to play as the critical check on the Houston government. Our critics will be vigilant in questioning government actions, ensuring promises made are promises kept.”

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