New Brunswick swears in 16 member cabinet, including five newly elected members
The governing Tories went from a minority to a majority government in the Sept. 14 provincial election
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs unveiled his new cabinet Sept. 29, elevating five newly elected members of the legislature to portfolios while dropping six former cabinet members.
The 16-member cabinet was administered the oath of office by Lt.-Gov. Brenda Murphy during a ceremony held at a Fredericton hotel.
In a brief address, Higgs focused on economic recovery, health care and education, and he told the new cabinet that an important duty is being placed on them.
“We are at a turning point for our province, and we together will seize the moment,” Higgs said.
He said the province will need more than economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to re-invent, to renew our economy, because doing business in a post-COVID world will be very different,” he said.
Rookie cabinet members include Margaret Johnson, who is minister of agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries, and Arlene Dunn, who is now minister for economic development and small business and is the minister responsible for Opportunities NB, immigration, and aboriginal affairs.
Other new ministers include Daniel Allain as minister of local government and local governance reform, Tammy Scott-Wallace as minister of tourism, heritage and culture and minister responsible for women’s equality and Jill Green as minister of transportation and infrastructure.
The cabinet retained several veterans in key portfolios including Ernie Steeves as minister of finance and Dominic Cardy as minister of education and early childhood development.
Trevor Holder kept his job as minister of post-secondary education, training and labour, Glen Savoie remains minister responsible for la Francophonie and Mike Holland stays on as minister of natural resources and energy development.
Dorothy Shephard is now minister of health replacing, Ted Flemming, who becomes minister of justice and public safety and attorney-general.
The six members dropped after holding cabinet posts in the minority government elected in 2018 are Jeff Carr, Jake Stewart, Andrea Anderson-Mason, Bill Oliver, Sherry Wilson and Ross Wetmore.
“I’m very excited about the team that’s here before me,” Higgs said.
The governing Tories went from a minority to a majority government in the Sept. 14 provincial election, winning 27 seats in the 49-seat legislature.
Although the Progressive Conservatives picked up seven seats they failed to win over key parts of the province.
Almost all of the French-speaking ridings in the north and along the Acadian shore remain in the hands of the opposition Liberals.
Higgs didn’t address the issue directly but said his government would work for all New Brunswickers.
“We are not a government for any one corner of the province. We are a government for an entire New Brunswick,” he said.