The day after his swearing in, Iain Rankin took part in his first COVID-19 briefing, sitting in former premier Stephen McNeil’s seat beside top doc Robert Strang. We took the opportunity to rank Nova Scotia’s new premier on his press conference performance. There’s still much to be seen, but if today is any indication, Rankin will be calm, “cool” and surprisingly punctual.
A+ For holding a press conference allowing reporters to attend in person, something premier McNeil hadn’t done since the summer.
A+ For starting the press conference at exactly 3:02pm, only two minutes after the designated start time. That’s a lot better than McNeil’s usual 15-to-30 minutes behind schedule.
B+ For telling everyone he’s a nerd for science and wants to work closely with chief medical officer of health Strang. “In our first meeting I told him that I’m a science guy. I value science and I value public health advice,” Rankin says. But he scores…
C+for saying the words “spoiler alert.” We get it dude, you’re young and hip—at age 37, Rankin’s the first millennial premier—but no need to rub it in.
A-For his response to our question about whether he’ll alter any McNeil-era pandemic restrictions. Rankin said he’s not changing anything specific. “The approach has worked, and I do agree that when there’s an issue we have to be very quick to shut down and add restrictions, and then be cautious when we open back up.”
B+ For getting confused by a reporter on day one, when asked about vaccine passports. Rankin asked them to repeat the question, but Strang jumped in for the save.