|MLA for Clayton Park West|
August 5, 2003 – present
|Preceded by||new riding|
October 22, 2013 – present
|Preceded by||Frank Corbett|
|Minister of Finance|
October 22, 2013 – present
|Preceded by||Maureen MacDonald|
|Political party||Nova Scotia Liberal Party|
|Residence||Halifax, Nova Scotia|
Diana Caroline Whalen (born 1956) is a Canadian politician, who represented the electoral district of Halifax Clayton Park in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 2003-2013, and Clayton Park West since 2013, as a member of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.
A native of Halifax, Whalen graduated with a BA and MBA from Dalhousie University. Whalen worked in South Korea, Australia and Jamaica from 1980 to 1988 before returning to Halifax to raise her family. Holding the designation Certified Management Accountant (CMA), Whalen worked as a management consultant for 15 years.
Whalen was part of the planning team for the 21st G7 summit which took place in Halifax from June 15-17, 1995. In the late 1990s, Whalen founded a community action group dedicated to seeing a new P-9 school built in her fast-growing neighbourhood of Clayton Park West.
Whalen was elected to Halifax Regional Council in the 2000 municipal election, representing District 16 Rockingham-Wentworth.
In 2003 Whalen successfully ran for the Nova Scotia Liberal Party nomination in the riding of Halifax Clayton Park. She was elected in the 2003 provincial election and was subsequently re-elected in the 2006, 2009 and 2013 provincial elections.
In 2004, Whalen's private members bill for mandatory booster seats was passed by the legislature. Whalen championed the fight to preserve the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area, which culminated in April 2009 when the provincial government granted protection from development for 1,214 hectares (3,000 acres) of wilderness in the area beside Bayers Lake Business Park. Whalen worked with constituents in her riding to lobby both the Halifax Regional Municipality and the provincial government for improved recreational infrastructure. This resulted in construction of the Canada Games Centre which opened on the Mainland Common in November 2010.
On January 18, 2007, Whalen confirmed after much speculation that she would run for the leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party. She lost on the second ballot of the leadership to Stephen McNeil by 68 votes, despite the support of the two other candidates in the race, Kenzie MacKinnon and Mike Smith.
Whalen has been an advocate for a provincial February holiday since 2005 when she first introduced the Joseph Howe Day Act in the legislature. Whalen has become known as an advocate for families and has been persistent in pointing out that the province has only five statutory holidays and has fallen further behind other provinces which have enacted a February holiday.
In 2009, Whalen was honoured by the Cornwallis Progress Club with a Women of Distinction Award in the category of Public Affairs and Communications for her work in the community.