Darrell Dexter is Nova Scotia’s 27th premier. He has led the Nova Scotia New Democratic Party since June 21. He has represented the provincial riding of Cole Harbour since 1998.
It was an historic night on June 9, 2009, when Dexter and his New Democratic Party won the provincial election. The NDP won 31 of 52 seats in the provincial election and captured 45.3 percent of the vote. After 10 years as the Official Opposition, the NDP achieved its first electoral victory in the province’s history. It is also the first NDP government in Atlantic Canada.
Under Dexter’s leadership, the new government will focus on addressing the province’s economic issues, job creation, health care and rural development (fixing roads and keeping communities strong). It will also work on retaining the province’s young people by making the province an attractive place to live.
The NDP government will conduct an independent review of the province’s finances. It will also operate with a scaled down cabinet comprising 12 members, including Dexter.
As the NDP leader, Dexter has broadened the party’s base outside of its traditional constituencies in Halifax, into the more rural riding’s formerly dominated by the province’s Conservative and Liberal parties. Dexter advocates balanced budgets and reducing the provincial debt through a responsible, balanced approach that includes spending on key areas as necessary.
Dexter is a proponent of affordable and accessible post-secondary education His passion for education emerged in his early days of student politics at Dalhousie University. Before being elected an MLA, Dexter was a very active Dartmouth City councillor; he was first elected to municipal office in 1994. Outside politics, he chaired the Dartmouth Downtown Development Corporation, and was a member of the Dartmouth Waterfront Task Force in the 1990s. He became engaged in furthering the renaissance of the downtown Dartmouth business district.
Prior to his political life, Dexter practised law. He also served in the Canadian Navy as a Command Information Officer for Maritime Forces Pacific, and as sub-lieutenant for the HMCS Yukon and the HMCS Qu’appelle.
Raised in Milton, Nova Scotia, Dexter was the first member of his family to pursue university studies. He developed strong communications skills while working on his journalism degree at the University of King’s College, and as a reporter with the Halifax Daily News. He subsequently earned degrees in education and law from Dalhousie University.
Dexter resides in Cole Harbour with his wife Kelly Wilson. They have one son.