Premier Rodney MacDonald today, Dec. 11, announced a new deputy minister assignment. Ian Thompson will become the deputy minister of the Department of Economic Development. “Ian has proven invaluable in Ottawa over the past three years, and he is coming to Economic Development at a very important time,” said Premier MacDonald. “We are going to be working harder than ever to attract new companies and create more jobs. Ian brings a combination of experience and enthusiasm to his new position that will serve our province well.” In January 2006, Mr. Thompson was the first person to be appointed as senior representative in Ottawa for the province of Nova Scotia. Before that, he owned and operated a successful communications company, worked in communications with two energy companies and served on boards of not-for-profit business, cultural and health-related organizations. Mr. Thompson has served as chair of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce as well as president of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the International Cystic Fibrosis Association. He has an honourary degree from Dalhousie University and is a member of the College of Fellows of the Canadian Public Relations Society. The appointment will take effect Jan. 5. The premier also paid tribute to, and thanked, retiring deputy minister Paul Taylor for his contributions to the people of Nova Scotia during his five years as deputy minister of Economic Development, and 27 years of public service.