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Nova Scotia NDP house leader Dave Wilson retires after 15 years in legislature

Dave Wilson addresses the media at a rally to announce that he is running for the leadership of the Nova Scotia NDP, in Lower Sackville, June 7, 2015. - Adrien Veczan / File
Dave Wilson speaks to the media in Lower Sackville, June 7, 2015. - Adrien Veczan / File

HALIFAX — Veteran Nova Scotia New Democrat Dave Wilson is stepping down as the MLA for Sackville Cobequid after 15 years in the provincial legislature.

In a news release, the party says Wilson's decision to leave "will allow him to pursue new professional opportunities and spend more time with his family."

A former paramedic, Wilson was first elected in 2003 and served as minister in several portfolios, including communities, culture and heritage; health; and, Acadian affairs in the previous NDP government under former premier Darrell Dexter.

Since 2015, he's been the NDP's house leader.

NDP Leader Gary Burrill says he has "all the admiration in the world" for what Wilson accomplished during his time in the legislature.

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston says Wilson distinguished himself as a public servant "whose first priority was always the people he serviced."

"This has been an incredible journey, but in recent months I've been contemplating a life beyond politics," said Wilson. "Ultimately after 15 years, this is just the right time for me to start a new chapter and allow the people of Sackville Cobequid to elect a new representative."

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