Don Downe has built a successful career as an entrepreneur, farmer and elected official in the Province of Nova Scotia. He has served as President of several professional associations and organizations, including the Nova Scotia Chicken Producers Association; the Lunenburg/Queens Federation of Agriculture; the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture; and the Maritime Farmers Council. He was active with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and assumed the Vice Chair in 1988-89.
During his work on behalf of the farming community, Don received numerous awards. In 1986, he was awarded a particularly special one – the Outstanding Young Farmers Award for Canada. From 1982 to1987 he was a member of the Province of Nova Scotia’s Voluntary Planning Board, participating in two initiatives: the Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee, and a strategy that focused on ways to rebuild the economy of Nova Scotia: “Our Province, Our Future, Our Choice”.
In 1993, Don was elected Member of the Legislative Assembly for the riding of Lunenburg West and served ten years in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly. He was appointed to the Executive Council of Nova Scotia and served in numerous portfolios, including Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier.
Following his retirement from provincial politics, Don remained actively involved in business and governance through his participation on various management boards, including the Public Services Accounting Board of Canada (PSABC) and the Accounting Oversight Committee of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (ASOC). He is also a founding Board Member of Sampling Technologies Incorporated, which is now a growing national company. Don also served as Mayor of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.
Don is happily married to Marlene Wheatley-Downe and has two children, Jeremy and Michelle, and four grandchildren of whom he is very proud.