Rodney MacDonald is leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia. He is the Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Inverness. MacDonald served as Nova Scotia’s 26th premier from June 13, 2006, until June 9, 2009, when the Progressive Conservative Party was defeated in the provincial election. In the 2009 election, the party won 24.5 percent of the vote and 10 of 52 seats, but was reduced to third-party status behind the New Democratic and Liberal parties. MacDonald served as premier with a minority government.
Although his party experienced defeat, MacDonald has not yet made any formal announcements about his future role as leader. However, he has said it is time for the party to begin a new chapter. MacDonald has served as party leader since 2006 when he replaced John Hamm, then party leader and premier who retired.
MacDonald entered politics in 1999, representing the Conservative MLA for the riding of Inverness. During the course of his political career, he held several cabinet appointments, including: Minister of Tourism, Minister of Culture and Heritage, Minister of Health Promotion, and Minister of Immigration. He has also been responsible for the Heritage Property Act, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation and the Nova Scotia Youth Secretariat.
Born in Inverness, Nova Scotia, on January 2, 1972, MacDonald grew up in Mabou, Growing up he participated in numerous extracurricular activities including hockey and music. MacDonald showed an early interest in politics, closely following his father’s work as a local councillor. He attended St. Francis Xavier University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. He was a professional musician, in addition to teaching for the Strait Regional School Board, the Mi’kmawey School at Chapel Island. MacDonald subsequently pursued his Masters in Education.
He is married to Lori-Ann Gillis and they have one son. MacDonald is also an accomplished musician. In 1998, he received two nominations as a fiddler at the East Coast Music Awards.