Nova Scotia Archives

Government Administrative Histories

Nova Scotia. Premier

Other forms of name:
Nova Scotia. Executive Council. President

The leader of the party holding the largest number of seats in the House of Assembly is ex officio first minister and head of government. The notion of a first among equals in the Cabinet developed gradually after the achievement of democratic government in 1848, when the lieutenant governor ceased to exercise political power. The post of president of the Executive Council, created by and for the then outgoing Liberal premier in 1860, was not entrenched in legislation until 1966. Until modern times the premier also held senior ministerial office such as attorney general or provincial secretary. The term "premier" first occurs in legislation in 1887, where the post is described as a recognized position. Under the Executive Council Act the premier is chair of the Cabinet, presides at its meetings and is a member of all Cabinet committees, though never chair of one. The premier may also hold departmental office under the Public Service Act, such as intergovernmental affairs. Appointments to the Cabinet are made only on the advice of the premier, who also decides when and for how long the legislature will sit, and when it will be dissolved and a general election held.

Notes: Authority record based on Statutes of Nova Scotia: 1887 c. 31, 1966 c. 31.



Nova Scotia Archives —

Crown copyright © 2023, Province of Nova Scotia.