Skabar shut out of cabinet

Darrell Cole & Dave Mathieson
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HALIFAX - For the first time since 1999, Cumberland County will not have a representative at the provincial cabinet table.
New Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter introduced his new 12-member cabinet Friday and Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar is not a member. It was widely thought Skabar could be a member of cabinet because he won a longtime Tory stronghold and defeated Independent MLA Ernest Fage.
"There was a lot of talk that I would be named to cabinet so I was disappointed for the constituents of Cumberland North that I wasn't," said Skabar. "But I'm not disappointed on a personal level.
"I have a lot to learn about the specifics of how to navigate around the legislature and it will take a bit of time to learn that."
Though Cumberland North isn't represented in cabinet Skabar said the constituents of the riding will have a strong voice in government.
"I don't think it will hurt Cumberland North at all," said Skabar. "The main issues are still at the forefront on my agenda and now I know which individuals to deal with on a ministerial basis.
"I know who to talk to on the school issue, on the jail issue and on the gas issue, which the premier's staff told me they were going to go ahead with."
It was thought that Dexter might jettison some experience in the name of fresh faces, but most of his cabinet is made up of MLAs with experience in government.
The only newcomers are Denise Patterson-Rafuse in Community Services, Ramona Jennex in Service Nova Scotia and Ross Landry in Justice.
Landry, the Pictou Centre MLA, is also the only cabinet minister from northern Nova Scotia with most of the cabinet coming from metro Halifax, where the NDP's traditional power base has been.
Cape Breton MLA Frank Corbett is now the deputy premier while longtime MLA John MacDonell is in Agriculture and Natural Resources. Maureen MacDonald takes over Health, Bill Estabrooks is in Transportation and Energy, Graham Steele is the first NDP finance minister, Marilyn Moore was handed the reigns to Education and Labour, Sterling Belliveau is in Fisheries and Environment and Percy Paris is in Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

Organizations: Tory, NDP, Pictou Centre MLA

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Cumberland North, Nova Scotia Cumberland County Northern Nova Scotia Fisheries

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Recent comments

  • Bob
    January 18, 2010 - 11:14

    doomed I tells ya! unbelievable!! hahaha are you guys serious? doomed? really?

    the ndp cut down the size of cabinet by a substantial amount. the majority of the NDP ridings are not in cabinet. but if it makes people feel happy they can certainly go back to the number of tory cabinet ministers so that EVERY person in power has a cabinet seat!

    and actually its been since about 2007 or so since Cumberland lacked a *voice* at the cabinet table. real accurate reporting there.

    can someone actually articulate how having a person in power that isn't in cabinet affect cumberland because man no one here is saying much beyond the complaints of the conservative sore losers? hey wasn't it them who kicked out ernie so we didn't have someone in cabinet or in the party at all?

  • Debbi
    January 18, 2010 - 11:10

    Seems to me we elected this man to work on our behalf and that also requires support of the constituents.....
    To me this is still the same man, same party elected and time to step up our committment and support.... not lay back and criticize. IT is only a new day if we declare it so.
    Brian- we are behind you all the way.

  • good old boy
    January 18, 2010 - 10:59

    same old i bet the voters for skbar wished they had voted for MR FAGE 12 years of know how to 0 ---no body if there was a election tomorrow mr fage would be back in see you at the polls in 18 month mr fage it will take that long for some of the thick heads

  • debradawn
    January 18, 2010 - 10:58

    there is so much crap happening in politics... by the people that know the ins and outs and how to work the system...

    i wonder what would happen if you put a common housewife as prime minister ...

    chances are that she would ask more why questions and not take because that is the way it has been done in the past as an answer...

    we need to get away from how it has been done in the past and start with fresh eyes...

  • good old boy
    January 18, 2010 - 10:55

    voter give it up and wait and see , uncle bobby we got to have a tmmies meeting you make a lot of since and same old you better come along to we will form our oun party we will call it the THE NO BULL CLUD

  • amherstonian4life
    January 18, 2010 - 10:47

    Before everyone comments on brian skabars credibility as a mla....... give him a chance to sit down in the house of assembly for a session...... and most importantly........ remember one time many years ago......... Ernie Fage was also a new mla with no experience ................. from farmer to mla............... or from federal civil servant to mla.................... ??????????????????

    I think its safe to say that the people of cumberland north want an mla who represents them in Halifax.

    I believe that if Ernie Fage had spent more time vocalizing his opposition and working on issues that were important to this area he might still be our mla. I don't think his loss in the election had a single thing to do with his charges or whether or not he was intoxicated when it happened. I think Ernie was being paid to represent us and he wasn't doing his job............................. so the same as any job..... when you don't do your job you get a pink slip...............

    Give Brian Skabar a chance to try to do the job he's been elected to do before you critisize him !

  • Same old, same old
    January 18, 2010 - 10:45

    Surprise, surprise, surprise. Now we have a MLA who not only doesn't have a voice, but has the self admitted lack of experience on how to navigate the political world. Mr. Fage may have been a sometimes quiet voice, but at least he had one, and lots of experience.

  • Micki
    January 18, 2010 - 10:42

    One of the most effective Mla's, Mr Brookes Taylor served only a few of his 17 yrs in the inner circle. Give Mr Brian Skabar some time then maybe cast an opinion. imho

  • Voter
    January 18, 2010 - 10:40

    At least Skabar is on the right side of the NS Gov. Brian, possibly should have been one of the Cabinate members just for for beating out Mr Fage, but it's only a 12-member cabinet. We will benifit you'll see.

  • uncle bobby
    January 18, 2010 - 10:36


  • Scottie
    January 18, 2010 - 10:36

    I think this might be the first time in history there was no cabinet minister from Cumberland & Colchester counties at the same time.... Good luck in my old stomping grounds - with absolutely no cabinet representation you are gonna need it!

  • lb
    January 18, 2010 - 10:35

    unbelivable ...... were doomed

  • Barbara
    January 18, 2010 - 10:34

    -most of the cabinet coming from metro Halifax- Isn't that a nice thank you to the rest of the province. There should be a law or something that states all counties have to be represented in the cabinet to make it a level playing field. Any guesses on how many perks metro Halifax is going to get?

    Although, maybe with the base of power there, something can be done to curb the violence that seems to be gaining in our provincial capital.

  • Debbi Joy
    January 18, 2010 - 10:32

    Seems to me we elected this man to work on our behalf and that also requires support of the constituents.....
    To me this is still the same man, same party elected and time to step up our committment and support.... not lay back and criticize. IT is only a new day if we declare it so.
    Brian- we are behind you all the way.

  • farmer
    January 18, 2010 - 10:32

    as far as i'm concerned it is a goood thing he isn't holding a position. at least this way we the people can confront him on alll issues and he can report to the proper people with out going through a whole lot of bull. everyone that has held a position seemed to work in that one area only..