New Brunswick’s new tory gov­ern­ment is sworn in

The Globe and Mail (BC Edition) - - NEWS - KEVIN BIS­SETT

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.

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