The Hon. Dr. Wayne Adams is one of Nova Scotia’s most recognizable political figures. An award-winning former broadcast journalist, and former newspaper columnist, former municipal & provincial politician, and environmental activist, Wayne was elected the first member of the provincial Legislative Assembly for the riding of Preston in 1993 and became the first African Nova Scotian elected to the Legislative Assembly, and subsequently the first Black appointed cabinet Minister.
Wayne served as Minister of Supply & Services, Minister responsible for the Communications and Information Act, Minister of the Queen’s Printer, and then Minister of the Environment, Minister responsible for the Harness Racing and Boxing Commissions and Minister of the Emergency Measures Act.
Under his leadership, Nova Scotia experienced its most sustained period of environmental growth since the creation of the Department of the Environment in 1973. Wayne led the major reforms of the new Environment Act, introducing the first comprehensive World-Renowned Solid Waste Management Strategy in Canada, reducing the amount of solid waste being generated in Nova Scotia by more than 50% in less than two years; while creating a new stream of waste resource-based industries and related recycling job ending the era of municipal dumps, closing the majority of dumps and landfill sites.
Wayne formed the Nova Scotia Environmental Industries sector that experienced a growth rate exceeding 250%, employing some ten thousand people (at the time of leaving office). Other legislative accomplishments include the introduction of the First-“Protected Spaces Act,” which preserved 800,000 acres of environmentally significant land for the eco-enjoyment of future generations. As Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Organization, Dr. Adams established Canada’s first “Province-wide fully integrated 911-emergency response system”: Nova Scotia’s first 911. He was instrumental in the creation of the Nova Scotia Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIF), as well as blueprinting a department of African Affairs, and assisted in building the community foundation of the highly successful Black Business Initiative.
Wayne received an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003 and invested as a member of the Order of Nova Scotia in 2011.