Diana Whalen

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Diana Whalen
Member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly
for Clayton Park West
Halifax Clayton Park (2003-2013)
In office
August 5, 2003 – May 30, 2017
Preceded byMary Ann McGrath[1]
Succeeded byRafah DiCostanzo
Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia
In office
October 22, 2013 – May 30, 2017
PremierStephen McNeil
Preceded byFrank Corbett
Succeeded byKaren Casey
Minister of Justice and
Attorney General of Nova Scotia
In office
July 24, 2015 – May 30, 2017
PremierStephen McNeil
Preceded byLena Diab
Minister of Finance
In office
October 22, 2013 – July 24, 2015
PremierStephen McNeil
Preceded byMaureen MacDonald
Succeeded byRandy Delorey
Personal details
Born (1956-11-20) November 20, 1956 (age 62)[2][3]
Bay Shore, New York, U.S.
Political partyNova Scotia Liberal Party
ResidenceHalifax, Nova Scotia

Diana Caroline Whalen (born November 20, 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 from 2013-2017, as a member of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Whalen was born in Bay Shore, New York.[4] She graduated with a BA and MBA from Dalhousie University.

Before politics[edit]

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.

Political career[edit]

Whalen was elected to Halifax Regional Council in the 2000 municipal election, representing District 16 Prince's Lodge-Clayton Park West.[5]

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.[6] 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.[3] 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.[7]

On October 22, 2013 Whalen was appointed to the Executive Council of Nova Scotia by McNeil, as Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance.[8]

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 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.[9]

In April 2015, Whalen announced a cut to the Nova Scotia Film Tax Credit program.[10] A controversial decision that was widely debated and protested.[11] Several production studios and film productions in Halifax have cited this credit cut as the reason they've left or may have to leave Nova Scotia.[12][13]

On July 24, 2015, McNeil shuffled his cabinet, moving Whalen to Minister of Justice.[14][15]

On March 24, 2017, Whalen announced she will not run in the Nova Scotia general election, 2017.[16][17]


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.

Electoral record[edit]

Nova Scotia general election, 2013
Party Candidate Votes % ±
     Liberal Diana Whalen 5,569 67.48 N/A
     New Democratic Party Blake Wright 1,448 17.55 N/A
     Progressive Conservative Jaime D. Allen 1,236 14.98 N/A
Nova Scotia general election, 2009
Party Candidate Votes % ±
     Liberal Diana Whalen 5,030 49.02
     New Democratic Party Linda Power 3,924 38.24
     Progressive Conservative Debbie Hum 1,084 10.56
Green Amanda Hester 172 1.68
     Independent Jonathan Dean 51 0.50
Nova Scotia general election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±
     Liberal Diana Whalen 3,404 37.32
     New Democratic Party Linda Power 3,040 33.33
     Progressive Conservative Mary Ann McGrath 2,450 26.86
Green Sheila Richardson 228 2.5
Nova Scotia general election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±
     Liberal Diana Whalen 3,329 37.71
     Progressive Conservative Mary Ann McGrath 3,034 34.52
     New Democratic Party Roberta Morrison 2,312 26.14
     Independent Greg Lavern 152 1.72

2000 municipal elections of the Halifax Regional Municipality[edit]

District 16: Prince's Lodge - Clayton Park West
Candidate Votes % ±
Diana Whalen 1,812 34.94%
Bill Stone 1,745 33.65%
Debbie Hum 1,607 30.99%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Halifax Bedford Basin
  2. ^ Diana Whalen on Twitter: Had a terrific birthday today! Lunch at Opa and attended the Lebanese Independence day celebration at Diman Centre tonight! Twitter
  3. ^ a b "Whalen launches Grit leadership bid". CBC News. January 18, 2007. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  4. ^ 62nd General Assembly Nova Scotia Legislature
  5. ^ "Veterans Downey, Schofield lose seats". The Chronicle Herald. October 22, 2000. Archived from the original on November 9, 2000. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  6. ^ NS Legislature
  7. ^ "McNeil new N.S. Liberal leader". CBC News. April 28, 2007. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  8. ^ "Premier Stephen McNeil welcomes 16-member cabinet". CBC. October 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  9. ^ "N.S. MLA renews call for February holiday, again". CBC News. February 7, 2013. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  10. ^ "Nova Scotia's film industry 'reeling' after tax credit cut". The Chronicle Herald. April 10, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  11. ^ "Nova Scotia film tax credit supporters rally at Province House". CBC News. April 15, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  12. ^ "DHX Media head criticizes tax credit cut in Nova Scotia budget". CBC News. April 10, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  13. ^ "Jesse Stone producer says verdict pending on Nova Scotia film incentive". CBC News. May 8, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  14. ^ "Andrew Younger sworn back in to cabinet after shuffle". CBC News. July 24, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  15. ^ "Cabinet shuffle: Whalen out as finance minister, Younger back in". The Chronicle Herald. July 24, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  16. ^ "Justice Minister Diana Whalen says she will not run in next election". CBC News. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  17. ^ "Health issues keep Deputy Premier Diana Whalen on sidelines for next election". The Chronicle Herald. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.

External links[edit]