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Barbara Adams is pictured here. (Source: Government of Nova Scotia)

Houston appoints new justice minister following controversy

By Jacob Moore Apr 22, 2024 | 2:05 PM

Premier Tim Houston has appointed a new justice minister.

Barbara Adams has taken on the role in addition to her responsibilities as Minister of Seniors and Long-term Care, according to a news release from the premier’s office.

Brad Johns resigned as from the justice portfolio on Friday, a day after he received backlash for his comments about domestic violence.

“Barbara has been doing an excellent job as Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care, bringing passion, empathy and determination to the role,” Houston writes in the release.

“I know that she will bring those same qualities to the Department of Justice as we work to improve the system and implement the recommendations of the Mass Casualty Commission.”

The Lieutenant-Governor already approved Adams’ news position and the swearing-in ceremony happens today at Government House, the release says.

Johns resigned after backlash for saying he doesn’t believe domestic violence is an epidemic.

The final report of the Mass Casualty Commission called for intimate partner violence to be declared an epidemic, along with 130 other recommendations.

He made those comments during a news conference Thursday, the four-year anniversary of the Portapique mass shooting, when 22 people were murdered.

The shooter started the rampage after he assaulted his common law partner.

Johns said there were bigger issues than domestic violence, like guns and drugs.

Houston later clarified the government’s position in the same news conference, saying they will work with partner organizations on work related to the commission’s final report and work related to domestic violence.

Opposition leader Zach Churchill and NDP leader Claudia Chender both called for Johns’ resignation.

Johns later apologized and Houston accepted his resignation Friday.