John Leefe

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John Leefe
Mayor of Region of Queens Municipality, Nova Scotia
In office
Preceded by Christopher Clarke
Succeeded by Christopher Clarke
MLA for Queens
In office
September 19, 1978 – July 27, 1999
Preceded by John Wickwire
Succeeded by Kerry Morash
Personal details
Born (1942-03-21) March 21, 1942 (age 75)
Saint John, New Brunswick
Political party Progressive Conservative
Residence Liverpool, Nova Scotia
Occupation teacher

Honorary Colonel Hon. John Gordon Leefe ECNS DCL (born March 21, 1942) is an author, former educator and political figure in Nova Scotia, Canada. He represented Queens in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly from 1978 to 1999 as a Progressive Conservative member. He was also mayor of Region of Queens Municipality 2000-2012.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, the son of James G. Leefe CD and Helen G. Sancton,[1] and was educated at University of King's College (BA), the University of New Brunswick (BEd) and Dalhousie University (MA). Leefe taught school in Saint John, Halifax and Liverpool, NS where he was Head of the Social Studies Department and later Assistant Director of Curriculum with the Queens District School Board.

Political career[edit]

First elected in 1978, he served on the province's Executive Council of Nova Scotia (ECNS) as Minister of Fisheries from 1983 to 1989, Minister of the Environment from 1989 to 1992 and Minister of Natural Resources from 1992 to 1993. Leefe also served as Government House Leader 1991-1993. While a member of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition he served as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee of the Legislature. During his time in the Legislature and municipal government, he was a strong advocate for setting aside lands for preservation and the protection of species-at-risk and played a pivotal role in the creation of Thomas Raddall Provincial Park, Kejimkujik Seaside (Parks Canada and nomination of Shelburne River as a Canadian Heritage River. He retired from provincial politics in 1999.[2]

He was elected Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality in 2000 and re-elected in 2004 and 2008.[3] For 2010-2012 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. He has served as President of the Canadian Council Ministers of the Environment, on the National and Provincial Round Tables on the Environment and Economy and in 2011 was appointed to the Nova Scotia Round Table on the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity. In March 2014 he was appointed as Transition Co-ordinator by the provincial government to oversee the dissolution of Springhill and its merger into Cumberland Municipality. In October 2015 he was similarly appointed for the dissolution of Parrsboro and its merger with Cumberland. He currently (2016) serves on the Board of the Queens Refugee Care Committee.

Awards and honours[edit]

In February 2012 Leefe was appointed Honorary Colonel of the West Nova Scotia Regiment. Leefe is the recipient of the Canada 125, Queen's Golden Jubilee and Queens Diamond Jubilee decorations. In 2002 he was granted the degree of Doctor of Civil Law by the University of King's College. Leefe was formerly a member of the Board of Governors of the University of King's College. In 2010 the Tourism Industry of Nova Scotia presented Leefe with the Ambassador Award for support of the tourism industry.

Personal life[edit]

Leefe is married to the former Nancy Morrison. They have two children, Philip and Sarah and five grandchildren.

Writing career[edit]

Leefe is the author of several articles written for professional and trade publications and of the following books:

  • Atlantic Privateers (1978)
  • Kejimkujik National Park (1981) - co-author with James Morrison, Millie Evans, Eric Mullen
  • A History of Early Nova Scotia (1983) - co-author with Peter L. McCreath


  1. ^ John Leefe fonds, Archives Canada Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ ""Some won't return to see the returns"". Archived from the original on May 3, 2003. Retrieved 2017-04-25.  . The Chronicle Herald, June 18, 1999. Retrieved August 11, 2013 via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ "Queens Mayor John Leefe continues 33 years of public service". The Queens County Advance, September 2008.