Nova Scotia Achieves Historic Milestones First Black Woman in Cabinet & Female Speaker of the House Appointed

Twila Grosse

Following her significant victory in a byelection held in Preston, Nova Scotia, Premier Tim Houston appointed Twila Grosse to his cabinet, marking a historic moment as she became the first Black woman to hold this position. Grosse now assumes the roles of Minister responsible for the public service and Minister responsible for African Nova Scotian Affairs.

Reflecting on her appointment, Grosse expressed her deep appreciation for the opportunity and acknowledged the honor and privilege of the moment. While she hadn’t initially dwelled on the significance of being the province’s inaugural Black female cabinet minister, she emphasized the multifaceted nature of this achievement, stating, “It means a lot.”

Grosse went on to elaborate, “Sometimes, when people think of being the first in something, they envision the glamour and prestige of it. However, it’s important to recognize that there is a great deal of responsibility that comes with being the trailblazer.”

Premier Houston, who initiated this cabinet reshuffle, also made history by appointing Karla MacFarlane as the first female Speaker of the legislature in Nova Scotia’s political history. MacFarlane, who had represented Pictou West as an MLA since her election in 2013, expressed her long-held aspiration to be a trailblazer in this role.

“I’ve contemplated various opportunities in politics,” MacFarlane shared with reporters. “However, this particular milestone has always held a special place in my heart. I firmly believe in my

Karla MacFarlane
Premier Tim Houston

abilities and am committed to giving my best effort.”

Premier Houston emphasized that these groundbreaking appointments were long overdue, underscoring the historical significance of having Nova Scotia’s first African Nova Scotian woman in the cabinet and a woman nominated as Speaker of the House. He stated, “It’s surprising that it took over 175 years for the province to reach this point, but we are determined to make up for lost time and ensure a more diverse and inclusive leadership.”

This revised version provides more context and clarity while maintaining the significance and impact of the events described.