Gal­lant Lib­er­als ousted af­ter los­ing con­fi­dence vote in New Brunswick Leg­is­la­ture

Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive leader Blaine Higgs to be sworn in as new premier

Sackville Tribune - - TANTRAMAR - BY SCOTT DO­HERTY MAN­AG­ING ED­I­TOR

Brian Gal­lant and his Lib­eral gov­ern­ment have fallen af­ter los­ing a con­fi­dence vote in the leg­is­la­ture Fri­day morn­ing, open­ing the door for Blaine Higgs’s Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives to as­sume a gov­ern­ing role in the prov­ince.

The Lib­eral throne speech was de­feated 25-23.

Al­though the three Green MLAS, in­clud­ing Mem­ram­cook-tantra­mar MLA Me­gan Mit­ton, made good on their an­nounce­ment ear­lier in the week that they would back the Gal­lant gov­ern­ment, the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives came out on top of the vote, propped up by sup­port from the three Peo­ple’s Al­liance MLAS.

Mit­ton is­sued a let­ter to con­stituents in the Mem­ram­cook-tantra­mar rid­ing last Wed­nes­day to ex­plain her sup­port for the Lib­eral throne speech.

“My de­ci­sion was made by ex­am­in­ing the con­tent of the throne speech and ig­nor­ing New Brunswick Premier Brian Gal­lant makes a pre­sen­ta­tion Fri­day morn­ing to end de­bate on the throne speech, which was de­liv­ered Oct. 23 by Lt.-gov. Jo­ce­lyne Roy Vi­en­neau. Gal­lant’s Lib­er­als lost a con­fi­dence vote fol­low­ing the speech, mean­ing Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive leader Blaine Higgs will be sworn in as New Brunswick’s new premier in the com­ing weeks.

the spec­u­la­tion sur­round­ing the mi­nor­ity gov­ern­ment in our leg­is­la­ture,” she said in the let­ter. “In other words, I con­sid­ered the speech on its mer­its and de­cided not to en­gage in po­lit­i­cal games.

“As a ci­ti­zen, as a mother, I am scared about cli­mate change, frack­ing, and cuts to ser­vices. And as an MLA and some­one who cares deeply about tak­ing care of New Brunswick­ers, I was pleased to see pos­i­tive things in the plat­form, such as hir­ing more nurse prac­ti­tion­ers and mid­wives, in­creas­ing sup­ports for se­niors, im­prov­ing the lo­cal food strat­egy, and ex­pand­ing re­new­able en­ergy and in­creas­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency for build­ings.”

The po­lit­i­cal land­scape in New Brunswick had been in tur­moil since the Sept. 24 provin­cial elec­tion, which saw the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives take 22 seats and the Lib­er­als 21. The Green Party and the Peo­ple’s Al­liance each claimed three seats. To form a ma­jor­ity gov­ern­ment, a party must se­cure 25 of the 49 avail­able seats. Al­though the PCS took more seats in Septem­ber’s elec­tion, the Lib­er­als won the most votes over­all.

Af­ter a stale­mate as to who would be ap­pointed Speaker of the leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly, with no party want­ing to lose a vote in the leg­is­la­ture, Daniel Guitard, Lib­eral MLA for Res­tigouche-chaleur, was elected to the role on Oct. 23.

Fri­day morn­ing’s pro­ceed­ings in the leg­is­la­ture got un­der­way with Gal­lant mak­ing a speech to end de­bate on the throne speech, de­liv­ered on Oct. 23 by Lt.-gov. Jo­ce­lyne Roy Vi­en­neau.

Not­ing the im­por­tance one per­son can make, pre­sum­ably in a last-ditch ef­fort to gain sup­port of at least one PC or Peo­ple’s Al­liance MLA, Gal­lant closed the speech with a quote from Mar­garet Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thought­ful, com­mit­ted ci­ti­zens can change the world; in­deed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Af­ter los­ing Fri­day’s vote, Gal­lant vis­ited Gov­ern­ment House to in­form Roy Vi­en­neau his gov­ern­ment had lost the con­fi­dence of the house. While Gal­lant could have asked her to call a new elec­tion, she had al­ready in­di­cated that would not be in the best in­ter­est of the prov­ince. Gal­lant also stated he would not do so, as it would go against the mes­sage de­liv­ered by vot­ers on elec­tion night.

“In the end, Mr. Speaker, this gov­ern­ment, this group of in­di­vid­u­als be­hind me, will re­spect the de­ci­sion of this leg­is­la­ture, just as we re­spect the de­ci­sion of the peo­ple,” he said in Fri­day morn­ing’s speech.

GOV­ERN­MENT OF NEW BRUNSWICK IM­AGE

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.