Where’s Cecil?

Big thanks to the spectator who alerted me to the latest incarnation of former CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke, who is now with the provincial department of Health and Wellness as  a “project executive” with “Health Capital Projects.”

Clarke, whose updated LinkedIn profile states he is an “accomplished public sector leader; bringing together trade, industry, and community stakeholders to promote growth and positive change” has been in his new position — and based in Halifax — since September 2021.

Cecil Clarke CPC (LinkedIn photo)


I thought he was signaling his undying support of the Conservative Party of Canada in this photo until I realized “CPC” also stands for “Cecil Phillip Clarke.” Apparently he has his own logo.

I asked Health and Wellness spokesperson Marla MacInnis about Clarke’s position and she sent me the following information from the job description:

Overall Purpose
The Project Executive provides executive leadership in the identification, design, planning, implementation, integration, and evaluation of multi-function, cross-departmental projects. Coordinates business activities (often carried out by others) that establish how and when the department will deliver products and services.

The Project Executive sets the strategic direction of project for a department that has a significant impact on the broader public sector. Performs strategic advisory/principal level consulting role to senior executives; leads, directs, and guides the development and implementation of major, complex, multi-functional projects and initiatives on behalf of the department, and under the authority of the Deputy.

Key Responsibilities
Takes responsibility for fulfilling business plans for the department by effectively leading a large team. Holds overall responsibility for designing, developing and delivering the department’s overall project management strategy, while also personally leading one or more projects of strategic importance to the department, other departments, and government overall.

Takes responsibility for developing departmental policies for project management area and developing and delivering an approach to strategic planning for a key part of the department.

Engages with senior business leaders to understand long-term strategic challenges. Takes responsibility for developing and delivering change management plans and achieving outcomes that support the department’s and government’s overall strategy. Takes responsibility for developing and delivering a key element of the department’s knowledge management system. Provides integrated long-term solutions and strategies to support the execution of business strategy.

Manages the development and/or delivery of budget plans for own department. Develops and/or delivers a plan for significant aspects of the financial management and/or control process.

Develops and maintains formal partnerships and collaborative relationships with colleagues and key stakeholders internal to government and across the broader public and private sectors, capturing broader business and program interests. Key influencer to other senior staff, cross-functionally to ensure department/government goals are met and conflicts resolved in an effective manner.

Ensures the effective management of human and financial resources by setting and evaluating staff performance targets, promoting diversity and a healthy workplace, demonstrating leadership competencies, respecting corporate human resources practices, promoting teamwork and individual development, maintaining internal communications, monitoring expenditures while adhering to procurement guidelines.

May perform other related duties as assigned.

In addition to the knowledge, skills and abilities outlined in the job description, there may be assignment specific requirements. For example, French language, drivers license, membership in an employment equity group or security screening.

I’ve asked for clarification as to the types of “multi-function, cross-departmental projects” Clarke will be identifying, designing, planning, implementing, integrating and evaluating as well as what size staff he’ll be leading, but as of press time, I’d received no response.

(What I should have asked is why the Department of Health and Wellness has “products,” “business activities” and business plans.”)



MacInnis didn’t include the section of the job posting that listed the “knowledge, skills and abilities” necessary for this job although, to read Clarke’s description of himself, there is little he can’t do:

Former MLA and Mayor with 20 years of shaping strategic policy, directing key programs, and impacting government affairs at the highest levels of decision making across sectors and portfolios including economic development, trade, energy, climate change, legislative, parliamentary and justice. Leverages insight gained in senior committees and collaborations with leaders of business and industry, stakeholders, agencies, federal, provincial, municipal and First Nation governments, and advocacy groups. Recognized as a trusted leader, effective risk management analyst and accomplished negotiator. Strong advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion. Member of the Executive Council of Nova Scotia since 2002.

Still, you would think some experience outside of political office would be helpful to someone in this bureaucratic position, and according to Clarke’s bio, he has precisely 1 year and 3 months’ worth of such experience — the period during which he worked as a “senior executive advisor” to the Cape Breton County Economic Development Agency:


I’m guessing this new job — whatever it is, exactly — comes with a good salary and benefits.

Nice work if you can get it.