Government of Nova Scotia

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Government of Nova Scotia | Province of Nova Scotia:

 

nsThe Province of Nova Scotia is governed by a unicameral legislature, the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, which operates in the Westminster system of government.

 

The political party that wins the largest number of seats in the legislature normally forms the government, and the party’s leader becomes premier of the province, for example the head of the government.

 

In modern Canadian use, the term “government” refers broadly to the cabinet of the day – formally the Executive Council of Nova Scotia, elected from the Nova Scotia House of Assembly and the non-political staff within each provincial department or agency that is the civil service.

 

 

Government of Nova Scotia contact information as follows:

 

Telephone:

  • Toll free: 1-800-670-4357,

For deaf or hard-of-hearing (TDD/TTY):

  • Toll free: 1-877-404-0867,

 

Website: Government of Nova Scotia | http://novascotia.ca.

 

 

 

Government of Nova Scotia Ministries | departments and agencies:

 

external-linkThe followings are external links:

 

 

 

 

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Learn more about Government/Province of Nova Scotia:

 

Organization: Government of Nova Scotia:

Nova Scotia is divided into 51 constituencies–groups of voters in specific areas of the province. During a provincial election, the candidate in each constituency who wins the highest number of votes becomes the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for that constituency. The leader of the political party with the most winning candidates becomes the Premier of Nova Scotia. The premier and ministers form the government.

Legislation:

Laws are introduced as bills and debated by MLAs before being put to a vote. If the Assembly passes a bill, it goes to the Lieutenant Governor for Royal Assent, at which point it becomes law.

Mandate:

The Speech from the Throne opens each new session of the Legislature and outlines the broad goals and direction for government.

 

Key positions:

 

The Lieutenant Governor:

The Lieutenant Governor is the Queen’s representative in Nova Scotia Constitutional duties of the Lieutenant Governor include ensuring the province always has a Premier so that there’s continuity in governance, opening and closing each Legislature Session, and granting Royal Assent to measures and Bills passed by the Assembly to give them the force of law.

 

The Legislature:

The Legislature is the provincial equivalent of Canada’s Parliament. Nova Scotia’s Legislature is made up of the Lieutenant Governor and a single body of elected representatives called the Legislative Assembly. The Premier and Cabinet, like their federal counterparts, belong to the political party with the most elected members in the Assembly.

By law, a provincial general election must be held every 5 years, but may be held sooner. In a general election, people of Nova Scotia from across the province vote on who they want to represent them in the Legislative Assembly.

Sometimes a seat in the Legislative Assembly is vacated before the next provincial election. When this happens, a by-election is called. A by-election is an election held in one constituency only. The winner of the by-election becomes the new MLA for that constituency until the next general election.

 

The Premier:

The Premier is the head of the Government of Nova Scotia. The leader of the political party with the most seats in the Legislative Assembly becomes the Premier. While the Premier doesn’t need to be an MLA to lead the province, they do need to be an MLA to sit in the Legislature and participate in debate. As head of Executive Council, the Premier chooses cabinet ministers from among elected members of the governing party.

Executive Council Office:

The Executive Council Office provides support to the Premier and the members of Executive Council. It ensures effective strategic planning and coordinated policy development across government, and engagement of people of Nova Scotia.

The Cabinet:

The Cabinet is the framework in which members of Executive Council put government policies into practice. Cabinet ministers are MLAs in charge of specific government ministries. Beyond approving Orders in Council, Cabinet ratifies policy matters and is the final authority on issues related to the day-to-day operation of government. The Premier chairs Cabinet.

The Speaker:

The Speaker directs debates and proceedings in the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker is an elected MLA. At the beginning of the first Legislative session after an election, all MLAs vote for the Speaker by secret ballot.

The Opposition:

The Opposition is made up of MLAs who aren’t part of the governing party. The role of the Opposition is to critique government activity, propose improvements to legislation, and present itself to the public as an alternative to the party in office.

 

 

Members of the Legislative Assembly:

Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are elected by people of Nova Scotia to make the laws we live by in this province. Each MLA represents a constituency. MLAs selected by the Premier to represent ministries are referred to as cabinet ministers. Those who aren’t in Cabinet are referred to as private members, or caucus members of their particular political party.

Ministries:

About 19 Ministries currently make up the Nova Scotia government. These departments deliver the programs and services mandated by Nova Scotia’s laws. Each ministry is headed by a deputy minister, a member of the Nova Scotia public service who in turn reports to a minister, an elected official and member of Cabinet.

Public agencies:

Public agencies are boards, commissions, tribunals or other organizations established by government, but not part of a government department. They work alongside ministries to deliver programs and services. Nova Scotia’s Agency Governance Secretariat helps ensure Nova Scotia government agencies are well governed.

Government committees:

Government committees review policy decisions, long-range strategic priorities, legislation and regulations. These committees include: Treasury Board, Economic Policy Committee, Legislative Review Committee, and Social Policy Committee.

Public service:

Nova Scotia’s public service is made up of about 10,000 government employees throughout the province. Each works for one of 19 ministries, or a public agency. They perform the legal, policy, administrative and practical duties needed to deliver programs and services to people of Nova Scotia.

 

 

 

 

For additional and most recent information, please visit the government of Nova Scotia website.

 

 

 

 

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