Education: Bachelor of Journalism, University of King's College, Halifax. Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Laws, Dalhousie University, Halifax.
Early Years: An avid basketball player, he grew up in the tiny community of Milton, one of six children, and the son of a sheet metal worker.
Career: Served as command information officer in the Canadian Navy; worked as a lawyer in the Halifax area.
Politics: Dartmouth city councillor 1994-1998. Elected member of the legislature for Cole Harbour in 1998; re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2006 and 2009; won party leadership in 2001.
Family: He is married to Kelly Wilson and they have a grown son named Harris.