New Brunswick’s new tory government is sworn in
New Brunswick’s new Progressive Conservative government has taken power, with a 17-member cabinet that includes four women and the party’s lone francophone MLA as deputy premier.
“Today it has been entrusted upon us for the next chapter in New Brunswick’s story,” Premier Blaine Higgs said after being sworn-in as the province’s 34th premier.
The ceremony, in the provincial legislature on Friday, came just a week after the Liberal government of Brian Gallant was defeated on a confidence vote.
At 64, Mr. Higgs is the oldest person to assume the office of premier in a province with a history of choosing young leaders.
Mr. Higgs thanked friends, family and supporters, and asked for the help of all New Brunswickers to fix the problems facing the province.
“I humbly ask each and every one of you to help me in meeting that responsibility. This cannot be accomplished alone,” he said.
Mr. Higgs named a cabinet of 17 ministers, including himself.
Robert Gauvin, the lone PC member from northern New Brunswick, is now Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.
The entertainer and playwright said that while he’s a francophone from the north, he looks forward to working with people from across the entireprovince. “We’ll have to roll up our sleeves and talk to each other, find ways to respect each other, and get the job done,” he said.
There are four women in cabinet, including rookie Andrea Anderson-Mason, who becomes Minister of Justice and Attorney-General.
Ted Flemming returns to cabinet as Minister of Health, a position he held under the former government of then-premier David Alward.
Mr. Flemming said he’ll work quickly to help find a solution to the paramedic shortage that has affected ambulance service in the province. “I’m going to study the situation, and we’re going to move forward, and you’re not going to have to wait around a long time,” he said.
On Friday, Mr. Higgs repeated a pledge to find a solution in a week, saying he’ll be able to make an announcement by next Friday.