Mitton’s absence will be felt at town hall
Councillors confident in collegue’s abilities to serve as riding’s new MLA
Megan Mitton will soon be moving from town hall to the provincial legislature and her fellow colleagues on council are confident she has the passion and the drive to successfully make the transition.
“I think that Megan will do us proud in Fredericton,” said Coun. Bill Evans. “She has good values, she’s smart, principled and always did her homework and she is genuinely a nice person.”
As Mitton prepares to make the switch from her town councillor role to MLA for MemramcookTantramar (pending the recount results which are expected Oct. 5), Evans said he and Mitton have not only become colleagues, but friends, and her absence on council will be felt.
“But what she’s doing now is arguably more important for the residents of Sackville,” he said. “She worked really hard to win the election and I’m confident that she’ll continue to work hard for us in her new role.”
Mitton was elected the riding’s first Green Party MLA following a tight race in the Sept. 24 New Brunswick election. She won the seat by a mere 11 votes, but in doing so she ousted longtime Liberal incumbent Bernard Leblanc.
Coun. Bruce Phinney said he was also particularly struck with how hard Mitton and her team worked during the election campaign, an effort that obviously paid off.
Phinney said being new to the political arena, Mitton will likely go through a bit of a learning curve in her first few months but believes she will adapt quickly with Green Party leader David Coon by her side. Mitton’s two-year term on council will likely give her a slight edge as she makes the shift to provincial politics, but Phinney said he’s unsure to what extent.
“We will just have to wait and see what she will be able to accomplish for our municipality. The provincial government does things, in my opinion, different than municipalities,” he said.
Coun. Aiken said he was excited to see Mitton elected as the riding’s new MLA.
“I think Megan, having served on council, will be of great benefit to the town because she has a keen understanding of the problems we face, especially in dealing with the province, and doesn’t have to become educated about what we need.”
Aiken said he will miss Mitton on council.
“I worked on some liaison assignments with her and found her to be very intelligent, insightful, and capable of entertaining new ideas to solve problems,” he said.
Mayor John Higham also believes Mitton to be a very capable individual who has a good handle on a lot of the interprovincial issues of importance to the riding.
As a lifelong resident of Sackville, Mitton knows the area intimately, and Higham said because of her council role for the past two years, she has gained a lot of background on municipal issues that are impacted by provincial decisions.
As a young mother and as a woman who recently went through the death of her father, where she dealt with the many ins and outs of an inept health-care system, Higham said she also has a lot of insight on women’s issues and senior/palliative care.
“All of that will serve her well as she heads to Fredericton.”
Higham said Mitton is awaiting recount results before resigning her seat on council. Once that happens, however, council will put forward a resolution to declare her seat vacant, which will be sent on to the Minister of Local Government. A possible byelection could happen.
Megan Mitton, seen her with her daughter Quinn at the Sackville Pride Parade on Friday afternoon, will soon be making the switch from municipal to provincial politics.