Dexter should give preference to more experienced caucus members when naming cabinet, says Zann

Jason Malloy
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TRURO - Will she or won't she?
Many people are curious to find out if Lenore Zann will be included in premier-designate Darrell Dexter's first cabinet when his inner circle is sworn in tonight at 6 p.m. in
"It's all going to be a surprise come tomorrow. None of us know," Zann told the Truro Daily News Thursday. "It really does remind me of being in school and finding out if you got a spot in the school play."
Zann, who made history earlier this month by becoming the first NDP to be elected in Truro-Bible Hill, will be attending the ceremony with her family.
The riding has a long history of having MLAs on the government side of the house and many of those politicians have served in cabinet. Since the riding came into existence in 1978, each of the three MLAs (PC Ron Giffin, Liberal Eleanor Norrie and PC Jamie Muir) have been a part of cabinet.
Zann said that should not be part of the consideration and her leader has to choose the best people for the positions at this time, noting there are more experienced members of caucus who have worked with Dexter for many years.
"If I was Darrell I would give them first preference," she said.
"He obviously has to try and get a nice proportionate amount of people from across the province and a nice proportionate number of women ... I am just pleased, proud and glad to be part of the whole team."
Dexter is also reducing the size of cabinet from 18 to 12, including himself, which makes the decision that much more challenging.
Dexter met with each of his caucus members since being elected and asked them what portfolios they would feel comfortable in. Zann said the obvious choice for her is Tourism, Culture and Heritage because of her involvement in the arts community but she also has interests in the environment, aboriginal and African Nova Scotian affairs as well as the advisory council of the status of women.
Zann said she has a good relationship with Dexter and looks forward to working with him to improve the lives of her constituents.
"Whether I'm in the cabinet or not I know I can talk to him about anything in the riding and he's going to listen," she said.

Nova Scotians can watch the province's new cabinet be sworn in live on the Internet. Tonight's ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. and can be viewed online at .

Organizations: Truro Daily News

Geographic location: Truro-Bible Hill

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Recent comments

  • What a Waste
    January 18, 2010 - 10:18

    Yes, the $65k should definitely go to the food bank. It will have to expand to feed all of the out of work actors that will be flocking to the new Arts centre... But the Arts center is a 'drop in the bucket' that is going to fill right up with all the revenue it will generate. If we get the Art's Centre, we won't need the food bank anymore because everyone is going to have so much $$ after this. Hope Sam's bucket fills up before this 'drop' evaporates along with all the money that goes into it....

  • Truro_NS
    January 18, 2010 - 10:17

    I voted NDP because the Conservative leadership stinks, Stephen McNeil is not ready to be premier, and the NDP are not smart enough to do any serious damage. That said, a school for the performing arts is a ridiculous idea anywhere other than a financially prosperous city or town. We need skilled workers here, not people who can act like a skilled worker. Our politicians (not unlike other politicians) need to start thinking outside the box and exercising foresight. There are fantastic and viable solutions to our economic problems - shame no one has the patience to wait the 10 years it might take to put us in a better spot. If we wait much longer that 10 years will turn into 20, and by the time we get around to it the projected date of stabilization will be far beyond any of our living years.

  • Sam
    January 18, 2010 - 10:16

    _Students have SOOOO much disposable income to pump into our economy_

    Just ask the small businesses of south end Halifax, Wolfville, Antigonish, Sackville NB, etc. Students and their visiting families do contribute to the local economy and add a unique vibrancy to the community they temporarily inhabit.
    Young people and new ideas! That's what we need!

    Sow diversity, reap prosperity!

  • Sam
    January 18, 2010 - 10:14

    We are the problem folks, it's time to dream!

  • Rob
    January 18, 2010 - 10:13

    ahh a school of performing arts. And just how is all this revenue supposed to come in to Town? Students have SOOOO much disposable income to pump into our economy. Mom and Dad are going to drop thousands into the Town for every performance they. Wow, that multi-million dollar facility will be full to the rafters and paid of for in 2 years at most! Right.... Most stories I have heard like that start with Once upon a time.....

    In these economic times, throwing money onto something like this is about as bad as trying to buy a Chrysler dealership. When the curtain falls, all there will be is a huge debt, and another empty building for lease.

  • What Dennis
    January 18, 2010 - 10:12

    Hear, hear.

  • Homer
    January 18, 2010 - 10:12

    All this fuss over Lenore Zann?
    Until a couple weeks ago I never even knew who she was. I looked up her acting career, nothing special.
    I listened to her speeches and interviews. She said nothing and revealed even less. Nearly every time she opens her mouth it is in self promotion of her 30 year old failed career as an actress.
    Today she showed us she can belabor the obvious.
    You all better hope she is holding back the best for last
    Truro-Bible Hill was done wrong so many times by the liberals & conservatives on a provincial level because of crooked politics. The people were desperate for change. The NDP could have appointed a turnip to run this seat and they would have gotten in. Like it or not she is our representative for 4 years. If you dont want a performing arts center or anything else she wants to rally for TELL HER, YOU ARE HER BOSS.


  • Countrygal
    January 18, 2010 - 10:11

    Hi my name is Beth Hill. I've also heard Ms. Zann speak and am less than impressed. Yes there are actors out there (male and female) who are involved in politics and are very articulate. Unfortunately Ms. Zann is not one of them.

  • flogger
    January 18, 2010 - 10:10

    School play? Not experienced enough for cabinet but only caucus? Oh boy, what have the people elected here? My prediction: poor representation and a new arts/acting/dance studio in downtown Truro, for future employment for those 'with vested interests.'

  • D.P.
    January 18, 2010 - 10:05

    First of all I'd like to say congratulations to Ms Zann for her overwhelming win a week ago. Those of us who do have the honour of knowing her have no doubt whatsoever that she will represent the people of Truro-Bible Hill with the compassion, candor, intelligence, humour, honesty, and the tireless devotion that she brings to every project she has taken on during a long, successful career as a self-employed Artist. Anyone who has ever tried to do that knows what a truly difficult challenge that is. And anyone who has ever seen her in action knows what a formidable intellect and presence she has, and what a formidable reprentative she will be. Those who say differently are obviously members of the opposing parties who lost the election. Sorry folks, but get over it!

    I believe people should be made aware of the fact that on top of keeping her career in the Arts continuing since moving back home over two years ago, Lenore has also been working on several other projects - like writing a couple of new TV series set in Truro-Bible Hill - which, if produced, would not only put our community in the international spotlight, but also bring casts and crews to the area which would mean a huge financial boost to every part of our economy.

    She has also lobbied tirelessly on behalf of the Town for the past nine months to raise money for a feasibility study to establish a truly excellent School of Performing Arts in the old Normal College in downtown Truro that would in fact be the equivalent - if not better than - the programs offered at Dalhousie and Acadia University. And the $65,000.00 she has raised will be used for that study. As a matter of fact the NSCC is interested in running the School (thereby making it affordable for ALL students across Atlantic Canada interested in studying the Performing Arts and not just rich kids). Not only that, but both Dalhousie University and Acadia are keen to become partners in the venture, working with Ms Zann and the NSCC to offer an opportunity for students interested in studying the Performing Arts for two years at the Normal College in Truro, then transferring their credits to Dal or Acadia for another two years and ending up with a University degree! This is something which has never been done before in Atlantic Canada and will be entirely the result of the tireless efforts of Lenore Zann.

    So let us all step back, take a deep breath, and celebrate the fact that this energetic, caring, kind, intelligent, articulate and creative woman is our representative in the new government of Nova Scotia. Because if she can do something like this in nine months, as a community volunteer, imagine what she can do for whole riding now that she has an actual role to play (pun intended) in government - Cabinet position or not! Hell, she doesn't need a Cabinet position - she obviously has something that is more important - the hearts of The People who showed up in droves to vote for her. Don't forget that she won EVERY POLL in the riding except one (which she only lost by 10 votes!) right from Hockeyville, to Bible Hill, to Truro and Millbrook!! Just ask the cabbies, the construction crews, the factory workers, the Raceway folks, the country-music lovers, the teachers, nurses, the retail-merchants, the young and old alike, and both the Arts AND Business communities - why did she win so convincingly with such large numbers? The answer is that she represents The People. Because Lenore Zann IS The People . She represents the new face of Government. And she's here to stay. How lucky we are. I for one can't wait to see what she will do next!!

  • Sam
    January 18, 2010 - 10:05

    _Do you really think that the 'Zann Center' is going to be of the size and caliber of Acadia, Dalhousie, or St. FX?_

    No, I don't. It may be but a drop in the bucket. But if we get enough drops, before you know it, that bucket's full!

    Stay positive!

  • Rob
    January 18, 2010 - 10:04


    Do you really think that the 'Zann Center' is going to be of the size and caliber of Acadia, Dalhousie, or St. FX? There is not going to be the influx of thousands of students paying some of the highest tuition in Canada. Maybe then we might actually realize some income from it. But who has the hundreds of millions of dollars to do that? We will not be building a 'Juilliard' in Truro......

  • G
    January 18, 2010 - 10:04

    Just save the Normal College, Zann

  • Aurora
    January 18, 2010 - 10:03

    $65,000.00 for a feasibility study? I see she has the same mentality as the rest of the counselors in our area!

    Can you imagine what that same $65,000 would have done for our local food bank who needs repairs on their building and is seeing a rise in the number of clients who cant afford groceries -- and the food bank cannot afford to help so many new clients.

    I really do believe there are far more important things at hand in our community right now, and these problems will not go away with the introduction of a performing arts school in Truro, N.S.

  • dave
    January 18, 2010 - 10:03

    first of all - schools do not make money, one of the reasons we had this election was the tories had to bail out the universities in the province. second of all - i have met her - and she is not to swift at all.

  • Sam
    January 18, 2010 - 10:03

    Youch! If Zann's is as bad as you all say she is, it must have really hurt to lose out to her!

    Can it really hurt to have more regular people in government instead of the typical scheming, conniving, power-mad, backstabbing, self-interested, greedy lawyers we always seem to have infesting the halls of power? Lenore is like a shining light; we need more of her type to illuminate government and send the cockroaches scurrying back to their law firms for cover.

    The ultimate example of the lawyer politician periplaneta americana: Brian Mulroney.

    Disclaimer: there are good lawyers out there, who are fine people, I will readily admit. Somewhere.

  • Fed
    January 18, 2010 - 09:58

    One of the reasons Ms Zann entered the world of politics is the size of her heart and the fact that she truly wants to help the constituents in her riding by giving them a voice in the Legislature. You will never in a million years hear Ms Zann talk badly about someone else. I can't say the same about the people who post here.

    I personally don't think I could subject myself to the needless abuse politicians take in areas that are outside of the job. I realize it is a public position and these people represent us. If you can find a saint to run for office they have my vote, until then I will vote for hard working, properly motivated people and assess their ability to do the job based on what they have accomplished in the job.

    It's too easy to sit back and anonymously criticise. If you can do a better job - step up. Until then, please consider the effects of your negativity and how the negative effect more than outweights the positive benefits it delivers to your ego.

  • Doug
    January 18, 2010 - 09:57

    But Countrygal, what do you think about putting an actress in Tourism, Culture and Heritage????

  • bruce
    January 18, 2010 - 09:56

    Rob And Beth
    refreshing to see your articulate posts,Rob We Both post regularly and often agree.
    Now that you've stated your cases(well it's a little debate in here at times,I see you both in a different light.
    I know all we tend to try the 140 characters or less phenom at times.
    Of course you and all have your own opinions and the entire right to express them.
    I am empathetic to the point that tears welled up in my eyes,over the first 2 posts,i don't believe either of you were being maliciuos more satirical,however the 'Dah and the what have we elected' just made me feel it was personal,now we've resolved that, everyone else can discuss the other issues.
    I love to see discourse about our governance,provincial,local,and federal.
    The more people, talk the better chance of we the people's forgetting the elected work for us,don't let them forget it and you will all be part of the democracy we strive for.

  • Megan
    January 18, 2010 - 09:55

    To Mr. Bruce Farrell.

    Please find below a quote from your previous comment:

    Perhaps the person may have forgotten their lithium and is saying I think the moon is a huge block of gouda.

    I find this extremely offensive, as I am one of many people that take lithium as a medicine for a validated medical condition. Would you dare mock a diabetic who has forgotten their insulin? I believe you are a very rude person using this in a debate . Let us all thank our lucky stars that you are not in Lenore's position.

  • Mary
    January 18, 2010 - 09:53

    I agree with Bruce on his post. If you'd ever met and talked with Lenore you'd know she is very knowledgeable about the political scene in Nova Scotia. I think she'll do a great job. There are many actors/actressess' who are involved in politics today.

  • Aurora
    January 18, 2010 - 09:52

    It really does remind me of being in school and finding out if you got a spot in the school play.

    I so cannot believe that people in this riding voted NDP.

    Some of you say you know her and she really is knowledgeable in politics. I sure hope that really is true because I do not know her but every time she makes a public statement she comes off as sounding like a gushing airhead.

  • bruce
    January 18, 2010 - 09:51

    Country Gal and Flogger
    re. your expositions on our soon to be MLA
    Do you know her?
    Have you spoken to her?
    How many actors have you heard at length talking to issues in politics,peace and world affairs?
    Country Gal you probably appreciate Dwight Yoakum,ever hear him speak to global warming,politics,world affairs,the man is amazing.BTW 15 or so movies qualifies him as an actor.
    Viggo Peter Mortensen, Jr. (born October 20, 1958) is a Danish-American theater and film actor, poet, musician, photographer, and painter,author of numerous books.

    Since you both use the word actor as an epithet,,enlighten us please .
    On what assessment of actor's capabilities do you find it necessary to denigrate this lovely person .

    I daresay she who will do a fine job as an MLA,actually do more than smile at the lower classes in election season .
    That's a fact Jack.
    Where are yours.
    Probably with your manners.

    signed(I don't need to hide in anonymity)

    N Bruce Farrell

  • Rob
    January 18, 2010 - 09:51

    Sounds to me as if she is saying, don't pick me, I'd have no idea what to do. I'm just here for the ride.. Reinforcing what I think a lot of us were expecting from this.

    And in reply to Mr. Farrell, no I do not know her, have not spoken to her one on one, but I have heard and seen several interviews, debates and public forums and I was wholly unimpressed. The term 'flake' pops right to mind, and I do think she is a gifted actress. I think she is giving one of her better portrayals right now, as a politician....

    Rob Bezanson (not afraid to sign either)

  • Anderson
    January 18, 2010 - 09:49

    Lenore's back bench material. A vote on the floor. And there's nothing wrong with that - we all knew that's where she'd end up.

    Anyone who's met her and talked with her (and I have) and is honest (Bruce) knows that she doesn't have the intellect, the experience, or the fortitude to handle the pressure or responsibility of a cabinet post.

    But she doesn't need long as she follows Dexter's script she'll do a great job driving Nova Scotia's economy into the ground.

  • bruce
    January 18, 2010 - 09:48

    apology was directed to Megan
    I should scroll up the post to verify.
    this time I felt so bad for hurting someone'sfeelings,or riling them up in an apparent belittling way---exactly the things I was berating others for earlier in this string.
    I can be wrong,often am,and I consider it a favor and lesson in humility when someone points out that I have offended in any manner no matter how unintentional.

    I have apologized to you inadvertently,
    but I may have owed you one in another string ,if not it's a freebie. smile

  • Elizabeth
    January 18, 2010 - 09:46

    Wow, again I cannot believe these comments. Coasted throught high school...right...more like gradated with honours....oh dear...some people. I am glad that all the postings are not of the idiotic variety, and I am not about to debate with those who hurl insults, lies and hurtful comments, if that is the way that you want live your my guest. The voters have spoken, it is time to let Lenore have her chance to go to work for the people of Bible Hill and Truro....and you know what I have a feeling, even if you don't want to, you will be eating crow.....I will serve the first dish.

  • Sam
    January 18, 2010 - 09:45

    If Zann manages to create a school of the performing arts, it will attract the ambitious, creative young people the town so desperately needs. Those young people will rent local apartments and spend money at local businesses. Also, their parents will come to Truro once in a while to visit their children and watch their peformances, spending money locally as they do so.

    The Zann School of Performing Arts is a great idea! If anyone around here has the industry connections to make it a success, she does. Give her a chance and see what happens. It could be a great addiction to a nicely diversified local economy.

    And wow, there sure are some bitter Tories and Liberals around here.

    I'm a first-time NDP voter, by the way, and partly because I didn't like the way the Liberals treated Zann.

    Nice going local Liberals. Do they teach you lessons on how to shoot yourselves in the feet or is it just a natural talent you're born with?

  • bruce
    January 18, 2010 - 09:45

    Said I wouldn't be back,that was the only thing I've said in here that can be misconstrued as dishonest.
    Even at that I meant it when I said it.
    Situations change.

    Anderson--- Opinion --- can not be dishonest.
    It may be factually flawed
    Perhaps the person may have forgotten their lithium and is saying I think the moon is a huge block of gouda.
    I know you'LL probably be honor bound to argue that point,
    I'd be amazed to see anyone back you up on that one .

  • jack
    January 18, 2010 - 09:44

    Well, I know Lenore and have since high school. If she can stop acting for a minute, she will fall flat on her face. She coasted thru high school on her looks and giggle- She won't get far with that in the legislature.....but then again maybe she will.

    Cabinet material- not in my lifetime.

  • bruce
    January 18, 2010 - 09:43

    I apologize to you, and anyone feeling slighted,or uncomfortable by my post today.

    I mentioned lithium because a kibitzer on another sting said I rave and rant like a lunatic,so I , in the spirit of self directed irony, mentioned one way in which a person can be compelled to say things,heartily believed to be true yet laughable to the insensitive, or unaware bystander.

    I advocate, in every way I can ,on behalf of all who are intentionally or not; marginalized,singled out or brushed under the carpet.

    I too am bipolar.
    I have been on meds that keep me fairly level for 14 years and will for the rest of my life.

    I hope you will locate me on facebook,feel free to message me,
    I will answer!
    I'd like to discuss these issues, the general attitude toward mental health consumers and stigma perceived or applied to us.
    Anyone else is welcome to contact me,safely,make sure your profile is limited to all except your friends,and you can always block and delete someone,if they become an irritation or worse.

  • John
    January 18, 2010 - 09:41

    WOW! It is hard for me to believe the rancor that is being displayed here. It is amazing to me that you have decided her capabilities before allowing her to do her job. I think that it is very revealing of the mentality of this community who seem to have judged Lenore before she has even been in the job for a single hour. I hope that each of you are judged by the same yardstick!
    WOW! Truro seems to me the end of the earth! Good luck Lenore!

    John Rait

  • Rob
    January 18, 2010 - 09:41

    When is a politician or Canadian Political faction going to finally look at bigger issues? Between Mills and his XCitement Video focus and the NDP and their lack of focus on anything tangible I wonder when gas prices are going to be addressed. Anyone notice it went up again with no valid reasoning. How about property taxes? How about taxes being too high in this part of the country period. We are being robbed left and right with no end in sight and all anyone worries about is performing arts, actresses and heaven forbid an adult novelty store. We are the problem folks, it's time to focus.

  • Quinn
    January 18, 2010 - 09:41

    I don't have an issue with her background being in acting, as most people that get into politics haven't spent years as lobbyists or on staff for other politicians. I'm sure most actors have gained some experience in business, culture and training/education. And there are many actors that are able to use their notoriety to help certain causes, political movements, etc.
    BUT, my concern with our new MLA isn't necessarily her background, but that she's been out of the area for a long time. This isn't sour grapes over the election, but serious concern that she's just jetted back not just to our riding, but our province and country, and has to catch up on what's going on locally.
    Best of luck if she does get a cabinet post. I can't wait to hear her acceptance speech.

  • Countrygal
    January 18, 2010 - 09:41

    Well dah. Of course Dexter should look at experience. Imagine putting an actress in the justice portfolio?