A new department that underscores Nova Scotia’s mining sector was created by Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil.
CBC Canada reported that the former Department of Natural Resources will see its geoscience and mining division merge with Energy. The new department is called Energy and Mines and will be headed by former municipal affairs minister Derek Mombourquette, the MLA for Sydney-Whitney Pier.
“Combining geoscience and mining with energy makes sense,” McNeil said in a statement. “It’s about taking a more cohesive approach to economic development opportunities, on land and offshore.”
Timberlea-Prospect MLA Iain Rankin was appointed to the renamed Department of Lands and Forestry.
“These changes will also ensure the forestry industry has a more dedicated departmental focus, which will help achieve the necessary balance between sustainably developing our lands and forests and protecting the environment,” McNeil said.
Rankin previously held the environment file, which will return to Hants East MLA Margaret Miller, who was minister of environment from 2016-2017 and more recently minister of natural resources.
Hants West MLA Chuck Porter, a former Tory who left the party in 2014 and later joined the Liberals, will join cabinet as minister of municipal affairs.
Glace Bay MLA Geoff MacLellan will lose the energy file, but remains minister of business, trade and Service Nova Scotia.
After McNeil won his second mandate last year, he made sweeping changes to his cabinet.