The Honourable John Savage, O.C., O.N.S., M.D., LL.D., (May 28, 1932 - May 13, 2003) was premier of Nova Scotia, Canada between 1993 and 1997.
Born in Wales, and keeping his Welsh accent to the end, Savage was a doctor in Newport until he emigrated to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in 1967. He made a name for himself as the "hippie doctor" in the 1970s, setting up a detox centre, and a free clinic in the disadvantaged community of North Preston.
After unsuccessful tries as a Liberal candidate in two federal elections, he became mayor of his hometown of Dartmouth in 1985. While mayor, he received a reputation as a left-wing free spender.
In 1992 Savage decided to try his hand at provincial politics, running for the leadership of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party. Winning on the second ballot, Savage then won in a landslide over Donald Cameron and the governing Progressive Conservatives in the 1993 provincial election.
During his term as Premier, Savage changed his tone to a tough fiscal conservative balancing the provincial budget for the first time since 1978. In doing so, he cut social spending drastically and cut the wages of thousands of civil servants. Other unpopular programs such as a toll highway and the Harmonized Sales Tax were initiated under his watch.
Savage's detractors labelled him as inexperienced and stubborn. Increasingly facing discontent from within his own party over some of his policies, he resigned as premier in 1997.
After Savage resigned, he built hospitals and schools in Africa.
In 2001 he admitted he had stomach cancer, which spread throughout his body until his death on May 13, 2003. Just three days before his death, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.