Nova Scotia House of Assembly

The Nova Scotia House of Assembly (French: Chambre d'assemblée de la Nouvelle-Écosse; Scottish Gaelic: Taigh Seanaidh Alba Nuadh), or Legislative Assembly, is the deliberative assembly of the General Assembly of Nova Scotia of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. The assembly is the oldest in Canada, having first sat in 1758,[1] and in 1848 was the site of the first responsible government in the British Empire. Bills passed by the House of Assembly are given royal assent by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia[2] in the name of the Queen.

Nova Scotia House of Assembly

Chambre d'assemblée de la Nouvelle-Écosse
Taigh Seanaidh Alba Nuadh
63rd General Assembly of Nova Scotia
Type
Type
Lower house (1758–1928) then unicameral house
of the General Assembly of Nova Scotia
History
Founded1758 (1758)
Leadership
Speaker
Kevin Murphy, Liberal
since October 24, 2013
House Leader
Geoff MacLellan, Liberal
since June 15, 2017
Opposition House Leader
Allan MacMaster, PC
since February 28, 2019
Premier
Iain Rankin, Liberal
since February 23, 2021
Structure
Seats51
Political groups
Government
  •   Liberal (24)

Official Opposition

  •   PC (17)

Other Parties

Elections
Last election
May 30, 2017
Next election
August 17, 2021
Meeting place
Legislative Chamber,
Province House, Halifax,
Nova Scotia, Canada
Website
nslegislature.ca/

Originally (in 1758), the Legislature consisted of the Crown represented by a governor (later a lieutenant governor), the appointed Nova Scotia Council holding both executive and legislative duties and an elected House of Assembly (lower chamber). In 1838, the council was replaced by an executive council with the executive function and a legislative council with the legislative functions based on the House of Lords. In 1928, the Legislative Council was abolished and the members pensioned off.

There are 51 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) representing 51 electoral districts. (With the next general election, there will be 55 electoral districts.[3]) Members nearly always represent one of the three main political parties of the province: the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia, and Nova Scotia New Democratic Party.

The assembly meets in Province House. Located in Halifax Province House is a National Historic Site and Canada's oldest and smallest legislative building. It opened on February 11, 1819. The building was also originally home to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, and the location of the "Freedom of the Press" trial of Joseph Howe. Its main entrance is found on Hollis Street in Halifax.

Officers

A number of officers of the house are appointed in accordance with legislation passed by the house. These officers fulfil numerous functions as prescribed in the relevant legislation. There are two categories of officers:

Officers under the Authority of the Speaker

The Speaker of the House has authority over the following offices and officers:

  • Clerk
  • Hansard
  • House Operations
  • Legislative Committees
  • Legislative Counsel
  • Legislative Library
  • Legislative Television Broadcasting Services
  • Sergeant-at-Arms
  • Speaker’s Administration Office

Independent Officers

These include the Auditor General, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner.[4]

The Chief Electoral Officer of Nova Officer as head of Elections Nova Scotia is also appointed by a majority vote of the house and is considered an officer of the house.

Party standings

Affiliation Members
  Liberal 24
  Progressive Conservative 17
  New Democratic 5
  Independent 3
  Vacant 2
Total
51
Government majority
-1

Current Members

Riding Member Party Notes
  Annapolis Stephen McNeil Liberal Resigned May 3, 2021
  Vacant
  Antigonish Randy Delorey Liberal
  Argyle-Barrington Chris d'Entremont Progressive Conservative Resigned July 31, 2019
  Colton LeBlanc Progressive Conservative Elected September 3, 2019
  Bedford Kelly Regan Liberal
  Cape Breton Centre Tammy Martin NDP Resigned February 6, 2020
  Kendra Coombes NDP Elected March 10, 2020
  Cape Breton-Richmond Alana Paon Progressive Conservative Progressive Conservative until June 24, 2019; removed from caucus after refusing to comply with a motion from the House of Assembly management commission to have the driveway to her constituency office paved to bring her office in line with the province’s accessibility rules.
  Independent
  Chester-St. Margaret's Hugh MacKay Liberal Liberal until February 23, 2020; resigned from caucus after facing charges of impaired driving.
  Independent
  Clare-Digby Gordon Wilson Liberal
  Clayton Park West Rafah DiCostanzo Liberal
  Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley Larry Harrison Progressive Conservative
  Colchester North Karen Casey Liberal
  Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage Barbara Adams Progressive Conservative
  Cole Harbour-Portland Valley Tony Ince Liberal
  Cumberland North Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin Progressive Conservative Progressive Conservative until June 24, 2021; removed from caucus after encouraging a protest that blocked the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border for more than 24 hours.
  Independent
  Cumberland South Jamie Baillie Progressive Conservative Resigned January 24, 2018
  Tory Rushton Progressive Conservative Elected June 19, 2018
  Dartmouth East Tim Halman Progressive Conservative
  Dartmouth North Susan Leblanc NDP
  Dartmouth South Claudia Chender NDP
  Eastern Shore Kevin Murphy Liberal
  Fairview-Clayton Park Patricia Arab Liberal
  Glace Bay Geoff MacLellan Liberal
  Guysborough–Eastern Shore–Tracadie Lloyd Hines Liberal
  Halifax Armdale Lena Diab Liberal
  Halifax Atlantic Brendan Maguire Liberal
  Halifax Chebucto Gary Burrill NDP Leader of the New Democratic Party
  Halifax Citadel-Sable Island Labi Kousoulis Liberal
  Halifax Needham Lisa Roberts NDP
  Hammonds Plains-Lucasville Ben Jessome Liberal
  Hants East Margaret Miller Liberal Resigned June 1, 2021
  Vacant
  Hants West Chuck Porter Liberal
  Inverness Allan MacMaster Progressive Conservative
  Kings North John Lohr Progressive Conservative
  Kings South Keith Irving Liberal
  Kings West Leo Glavine Liberal
  Lunenburg Suzanne Lohnes-Croft Liberal
  Lunenburg West Mark Furey Liberal
  Northside-Westmount Eddie Orrell Progressive Conservative Resigned July 31, 2019
  Murray Ryan Progressive Conservative Elected September 3, 2019
  Pictou Centre Pat Dunn Progressive Conservative
  Pictou East Tim Houston Progressive Conservative Leader of the Opposition
  Pictou West Karla MacFarlane Progressive Conservative
  Preston-Dartmouth Keith Colwell Liberal
  Queens-Shelburne Kim Masland Progressive Conservative
  Sackville-Beaver Bank Brad Johns Progressive Conservative
  Sackville-Cobequid Dave Wilson NDP Resigned November 16, 2018
  Steve Craig Progressive Conservative Elected June 19, 2019
  Sydney-Whitney Pier Derek Mombourquette Liberal
  Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg Alfie MacLeod Progressive Conservative Resigned July 31, 2019
  Brian Comer Progressive Conservative Elected September 3, 2019
  Timberlea-Prospect Iain Rankin Liberal Premier of Nova Scotia
  Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River Lenore Zann Independent Resigned September 12, 2019
  Dave Ritcey Progressive Conservative Elected March 10, 2020
  Victoria-The Lakes Keith Bain Progressive Conservative
  Waverley-Fall River-Beaverbank Bill Horne Liberal
  Yarmouth Zach Churchill Liberal

Committees

Standing Committees

  • Assembly Matters
  • Community Services
  • Natural Resources and Economic Development
  • Health
  • Human Resources
  • Internal Affairs
  • Law Amendments
  • Private & Local Bills
  • Public Accounts
  • Veterans Affairs

Committees of the Whole House

  • Bills
  • Supply
    • Supply Subcommittee

Select Committee

  • Participation in the Democratic Process

Recent Former Select Committees

(final reports filed)

  • Electoral Boundaries
  • Fire Safety
  • National Unity
  • Petroleum Product Pricing
  • Workers' Compensation Act

Special Committee

  • to Review the Estimates of the Auditor General and the Chief Electoral Officer

Seating plan

Paon LeBlanc Comer Ritcey Johns MacKay
Ryan Smith-McCrossin Craig Rushton Halman Lohr Adams Roberts Coombes
Harrison Dunn Bain Masland MacFarlane HOUSTON MacMaster Chender BURRILL Leblanc
Murphy
Churchill Delorey Lohnes-Croft MacLellan RANKIN Regan Irving Diab Colwell Mombourquette Kousoulis
Casey Glavine Arab Jessome Ince Maguire Hines Porter
Furey DiCostanzo Horne Wilson

See also

  • List of Nova Scotia General Assemblies
  • List of political parties in Nova Scotia
  • Executive Council of Nova Scotia (Cabinet)
  • Province House (Nova Scotia)
  • Politics of Nova Scotia

References

  1. How Canadians Govern Themselves
  2. Constitution Act, 1867, ss. 69 & 88; Nova Scotia House of Assembly
  3. Chapter 32 of Nova Scotia Acts of 2019
  4. "Supporting Offices". Nova Scotia Legislature. Nova Scotia House of Assembly. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
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