Premier Tim Houston announced historic changes to cabinet today, September 14.

Twila Grosse, MLA for Preston, joins cabinet as Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs and Minister of the Public Service Commission, becoming the first female African Nova Scotian member of the Nova Scotia Executive Council.

“Twila has proven to be a hard worker dedicated to her community and she will make a strong addition to government. I congratulate her on this historic appointment and welcome her to the cabinet table,” said Premier Houston.

He also announced that Karla MacFarlane will be nominated as the first female Speaker when the House of Assembly resumes on Thursday, October 12. She will retain her designation as Minister until a Speaker is chosen.

Current Speaker Keith Bain will resign his post on the first day of the upcoming session. He will continue to sit as an MLA.

“Karla has been a dedicated minister and an important member of my cabinet. I’m pleased to nominate her as the first female Speaker of the House, another historic first in the province. I know she will continue to excel in that role,” said Premier Houston. “I also thank Keith for his service as Speaker of the House, where he has done an excellent job over the past two years.”

Trevor Boudreau, MLA for Richmond, becomes Minister of Community Services and Minister responsible for L’nu Affairs. Minister MacFarlane will assist Minister Boudreau at the Department of Community Services until the House of Assembly resumes.

Kent Smith, MLA for Eastern Shore, joins cabinet as Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Allan MacMaster becomes Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, while retaining his current responsibilities as Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, Minister of Labour Relations, Minister of Gaelic Affairs and Deputy Premier.

Barbara Adams becomes the Minister responsible for Military Relations and continues as Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care.

Jill Balser becomes the Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women and retains her portfolio as Minister of Labour, Skills and Immigration.

Premier Houston thanked outgoing ministers Pat Dunn and Steve Craig for their work and dedication over the past two years. They will continue to sit as MLAs.

Appointments are effective immediately.