Gerry O'Malley

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Gerry O'Malley
MLA for Halifax Needham
In office
Preceded byEdmund L. Morris
Succeeded byMaureen MacDonald
Personal details
Gerald Joseph O'Malley

(1927-11-25)25 November 1927
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died19 November 2018(2018-11-19) (aged 90)
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Marie Elizabeth Langan (m. 1963)

Gerald Joseph O'Malley (25 November 1927 – 19 November 2018) was a Canadian politician. He represented the electoral district of Halifax Needham in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1988 to 1998, as a member of the Liberals.[1][2]

An avid educational advocate, O’Malley worked at Nova Scotia Community College as a principal before entering politics. He served in the Nova Scotia Assembly for a decade and became the Minister of Supply and Services and then Minister of Science and Technology under Premier John Savage.

Early life[edit]

O'Malley was born in Halifax in 1927 to Michael O'Malley and Mary Brackett.[3] He was educated at Saint Mary's University, originally wanting to be an electrician.[4][3] He also served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, retiring in 1967.[5]

An avid educational advocate, O’Malley was an educator working as a vocational teacher and later as principal at the Akerley campus of the Nova Scotia Community College in Halifax.[6][3]


In 1980, O'Malley was elected to Halifax City Council, where he served as Deputy Mayor in 1984.[4]

O'Malley entered provincial politics in the 1988 election, defeating New Democrat Maureen MacDonald by 776 votes in the Halifax Needham riding.[7] He was re-elected in the 1993 election, defeating his New Democrat opponent by 972 votes.[8] He served as a backbench member of John Savage's government until March 1995, when he was appointed to the Executive Council of Nova Scotia as Minister of Supply and Services.[9]

In March 1996, O'Malley was shuffled to Minister of Science and Technology.[10][11] When Russell MacLellan was sworn-in as premier in July 1997, O'Malley was moved to Minister of Labour.[12][13]

O’Malley was moved to the Labour portfolio, where he brought in safety training changes in the wake of the Westray mining disaster that resulted in 26 deaths.[6] During his time as Minister of Supply and Services, O'Malley once faced public criticism and outcry when he was in Sydney to announce the plan to cap the tar ponds.[14] Protesters forced O'Malley to cut the event short and he was escorted out of the room due to security concerns as the protests intensified.[14]

Despite indications he might retire, O'Malley ran for re-election in 1998,[15] but was defeated by New Democrat Maureen MacDonald by over 2,300 votes.[16][17]

Personal life[edit]

O'Malley married Marie Elizabeth Langan in 1963.[6] They had four children.[6] He continued to live in Nova Scotia until his death at his Halifax home on 19 November 2018, six days shy of his 91st birthday.[6]


  1. ^ Canadian almanac & directory. Scobie & Balfour. 1995. pp. 4–155.
  2. ^ "Electoral History for Halifax Needham" (PDF). Nova Scotia Legislative Library. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Obituary: Gerald Joseph O'Malley 2018". Necro Canada. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Minister of the Department of Labour biography". Government of Nova Scotia. Archived from the original on 28 January 1998. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  5. ^ The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1989, pg. 851
  6. ^ a b c d e "Former N.S. Liberal cabinet minister Gerry O'Malley dies at age of 90". National Post. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1988" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. p. 89. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Returns of General Election for the House of Assembly 1993" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. p. 106. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Savage plays musical chairs with Cabinet, adds O'Malley". The Chronicle Herald. 21 March 1995.
  10. ^ "Premier announces cabinet realignment". Government of Nova Scotia. 22 March 1996. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Downe climbs cabinet ladder as new department boss". The Chronicle Herald. 23 March 1996.
  12. ^ "Premier MacLellan, new cabinet sworn in". Government of Nova Scotia. 18 July 1997. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  13. ^ "MacLellan makeover". The Chronicle Herald. 19 July 1997. Archived from the original on 4 February 1998. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Longtime Nova Scotia politician Gerald O'Malley dies". CBC. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  15. ^ "O'Malley seeks nod in Halifax Needham". The Chronicle Herald. 19 February 1998. Archived from the original on 24 January 2005. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Election Returns, 1998 (Halifax Needham)" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Grit veterans swept away by 'orange tide'". The Chronicle Herald. 25 March 1998. Archived from the original on 24 January 2005. Retrieved 22 November 2014.