Biographical notes


Bernadette Jordan (BA [Political Science], St. Francis Xavier University, 1984) was raised on the South Shore of Nova Scotia in a small fishing community. Her love of her community and desire to see it grow and thrive started at a young age when she became a community volunteer while in junior high school.

Bernadette started her working career in the field of economic development and built an extensive network. She then went on to a career in community news, spending almost 12 years as the special projects manager for the award-winning newspaper publisher Lighthouse Publishing. She received multiple awards in the areas of advertising, promotion, business campaigns and volunteerism. During this time, she also served as the president of the Atlantic Canadian Newspapers Association and as a member of the board of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association.

In 2006, Bernadette left community news to take on a new role in fund development with the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore. Her work helped the foundation raise millions of dollars for health care in her community. She was an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, received their Rising Star Award and led a campaign that won their Ten Star Chapter Award.

In 2015, Bernadette ran for and won the federal riding of South Shore-St. Margarets by the largest margin ever in the riding and became the first woman to hold the seat. In her first years in government, she was the chair of the Atlantic Liberal Caucus, a member of the standing committees on the Status of Women and on the Scrutiny of Regulations, and the chair of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. During that time, she introduced a motion calling on the government to deal with abandoned and derelict vessels in Canada’s waterways, which led to legislation passed in 2018 to address this ongoing problem. She was then appointed parliamentary secretary to the minister of democratic institutions. In 2019, she became the first minister of rural economic development. Later that same year she became minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. This made Bernadette the first woman elected in Nova Scotia to hold a seat at the Cabinet table.

After leaving politics in 2021, Bernadette went back to her fund development roots, accepting a position as the national director of philanthropy with Shelter Movers, a volunteer-powered charity providing free moving and storage services to people, primarily women and children, leaving abuse.

Bernadette and her husband, David, live on the beautiful South Shore. They have raised 3 children and enjoy the beach, kayaking and their dog Alfie. She continues to volunteer with organizations in her community. Bernadette was recently the recipient of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Nova Scotia) for service to Nova Scotia and Canada. In her spare time, Bernadette is a fabric artist and speaker at many events involving women in leadership.

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