Focus On

Stewart McKelvey partner named N.S. deputy minister of Justice

Wednesday, April 01, 2020 @ 1:58 PM | By John Chunn


The government of Nova Scotia announced that Candace Thomas has been appointed the new deputy minister of Justice, replacing Karen Hudson who retires on April 30. Thomas will also serve as deputy minister of the new Office of Social Innovation and Integrative Approaches, established in the 2020-21 budget.

Premier Stephen McNeil announced the appointment on March 30.

According to the government’s press release, Thomas is a partner at Stewart McKelvey. Along with her corporate leadership roles, she is an active community leader, chair of Dalhousie University’s board of governors, a member of the East Preston Empowerment Academy Society’s board of directors and the International Women’s Forum. She was also named woman of the year by Chatelaine magazine in 2019.

Thomas will be the province’s first female African Nova Scotian deputy minister.

“Ms. Thomas is a recognized leader and innovator, and someone who works to bring about change that can make a difference in people's lives,” said McNeil. “I am excited about how her leadership and ideas will help government work and think differently, not only in the administration of justice, but in advancing principles outlined in the report of the restorative inquiry. I want to thank deputy Hudson very much for her public service. Her focus on access to justice, particularly for those who struggle most and her leadership within the department and across the justice system is to be celebrated.”

The Office of Social Innovation and Integrative Approaches will work across government, with strong links to African Nova Scotian Affairs, Aboriginal Affairs, Status of Women and the Department of Community Service. The office will reflect learnings from the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children Restorative Inquiry, promoting social inclusion and restorative approaches.

Both appointments are effective April 1.

“Throughout my career and community work, I've always welcomed opportunities where I can give back and, hopefully, make a difference. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with people inside and outside of government on innovative ways to continue the great work Deputy Minister Karen Hudson has done to improve our justice system and the lives of more Nova Scotians as part of government's enhanced human-centered approach to governing which I see as significant in the work of the new office,” said Thomas.