Minister’s Bio

The Hon. Joanne Bernard
Minister responsible for Housing Nova Scotia, Minister of Community Services, Minister responsible for the Disabled Persons Commission Act and Minister responsible for Advisory Council on the Status of Women - Dartmouth North

Joanne has dedicated most of her working life to the non-profit sector particularly working on the issues of violence against women and affordable housing.

For the past nine years Dartmouth North has been her main focus. As the Executive Director of Alice Housing, Joanne was the architect of Healing the Bruises which has been internationally recognized for its work with child witnesses of violence. Under her leadership, Alice Housing has been awarded multiple national awards from the Donner Foundation and the Better Business Bureau Ethics Award for the Non Profit community.

Joanne was awarded the Peter F Drucker Award for Non Profit Management in Canada and the Holly House Hero Award for her work on homelessness in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Because of her understanding the dynamics of addiction and how it tears families apart, Joanne developed the Marguerite Centre in 2002. It is the only long term residential facility for women recovering from addictions in Nova Scotia.
Joanne has held positions on the Board of Directors of Bryony House, Silent Witness Nova Scotia, Federation of Community Organizations, Metro Interagency Committee on Family Violence, Public Good Society of Dartmouth and the Dartmouth Community Network.

Joanne holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount Saint Vincent University, a Masters Degree in Political Science from Acadia University and is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University‘s Certificate in Leadership Excellence. 

Joanne was first elected to the House of Assembly, representing the riding of Dartmouth North in 2013. She serves as the Minister of Community Services, Minister responsible for the Disabled Persons Commission Act, and Minister responsible for Advisory Council on the Status of Women. 

As a parent, Joanne volunteered extensively in her child’s school including Chairing the School Advisory Committee for 3 years. Joanne is married to Annette and has a son Taylor and 5 rescued cats.