58th New Brunswick Legislature
|58th New Brunswick Legislature|
|Leader of the|
|Bruce Fitch |
|Opposition||Progressive Conservative Party|
|Third party||Green Party|
Seating arrangements of the Legislative Assembly
|Members||49 MLA seats|
6 February 1952 – present
23 October 2014 – present
Leader of the Opposition Blaine Higgs (Progressive Conservative) led the Official Opposition from fall 2016 until the end of the legislature. Higgs was preceded by the interim leader of his party Bruce Fitch.
On 1 December 2015, the Gallant government opened the legislature's second session with a promise to "get tough" on the province's tattered finances. The speech from the throne documented how the province had accumulated a debt of $12.4 billion by failing to produce a balanced budget since 2007. The province spent more on interest payments than it did on post-secondary education, and the consultation of citizens called the "Strategic Program Review" had all but concluded. The province said its credit rating was at risk, and the costs to service the debt if the rating were downgraded would then rise. The projected deficit for the 2015-16 budget was at the time $453 million. A report issued the previous Friday had calculated at $300 million the benefit to the government of a two-percent rise of the harmonized sales tax (HST) from 13% to 15%.
On 2 December 2015, it was brought to light that the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eilish Cleary had been obliged by her Deputy Minister to go "on leave". She said she was not allowed to discuss the reasons for the leave. "I was surprised and upset when it happened. The whole situation has caused me significant stress and anxiety. And not being able to talk about it makes it worse." Her office had been "developing a plan to further explore" the carcinogenic effects of glyphosate, a substance which was found earlier in 2015 to be "probably carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, and which is utilized in New Brunswick by forestry company J.D. Irving Ltd. and by NB Power, a provincial Crown corporation. Victor Boudreau, the Minister of Health at the time, told reporters Cleary's leave was "a personnel matter. It's not something we can comment about. It has nothing to do with the office per se, or the independence of the office. It's an HR issue and I won't comment anymore." The next day, the Deputy Minister of Health, Tom Maston, rejected suggestions that Cleary was being silenced, and the Minister of Environment was questioned on the matter in the legislature. The leader of the opposition said that there was a "disturbing" trend of the Gallant Liberals trying to silence independent watchdogs, and pointed to the ruling party's recent feud with the Auditor-General and failure to appoint a new conflict of interest commissioner for six months. On 7 December, Cleary—who had been removed from her office on 2 November—stated in an e-mail that she had been fired by the provincial government without cause: "I can confirm that my employment as Chief Medical Officer has been terminated without cause effective immediately." The government did not respond to requests for information, while various opposition politicians made hay and a public protest ensued in support of Cleary. The next day, the Liberal government was grilled in question period. The Minister of Health maintained that the termination without cause was due to a personnel matter, while Cleary maintained that she was never told what the personnel issues were. On 15 January 2016, Cleary and her employer of nine years reached a settlement, which was not disclosed to the public. A statement was released, that "Dr. Cleary and the Department of Health have concluded a satisfactory agreement consistent with common law termination without cause principles."
In their 2016 budget, presented by Finance Minister Roger Melanson on 2 February 2016, the Liberal party increased, as forecast the previous December, the HST from 13% to 15%, effective 1 July 2016.
Cathy Rogers became the first female finance minister of the province in a cabinet shuffle that occurred on 6 June 2016. As well, Lisa Harris was appointed minister of Celtic affairs, a newly established cabinet post. Francine Landry continued as Minister for La Francophonie, while Victor Boudreau continued as Minister of Health. Brian Kenny replaced Serge Rousselle as the education minister, while the latter takes over at Environment and Local Government. Rousselle, who remains in post as Attorney-General, is the only lawyer in cabinet, apart from Gallant.
Rogers was only in her second week in post when the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) file exploded into acrimony. On 20 June 2016, Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau and eight of his provincial colleagues announced jointly that the CPP would become more expensive. The announcement was hailed as Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne's victory, since it would allow her to cancel the new provincial plan on which she had campaigned. The increase by one percentage point to 5.95 per cent of wages shall take place from 2019 to 2025. Rogers was pilloried in the provincial press and earned the ire of the Coalition of New Brunswick Employers, an alliance of 25 industry associations employing about two-thirds of the province's private-sector workforce.
On 2 November 2016, the Gallant government issued a speech from the Throne, its second in a year, and said that its contentious amendment to the Judicature Act, which would give to the government the power of veto over certain personnel decisions that theretofore had lain with the Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench, was to be revived. It had been allowed to fall off the order paper when the legislature wrapped up without its passage. Chief Justice David Smith earlier had challenged the authority of the Premier to implement his plan.
The Gallant government raised the ire of senior citizens with its plans to require access to confidential Revenue Canada files in exchange for those who sought social assistance. Cecile Cassista, the executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents, saw it as "nothing more than another attempt by government to grab seniors' assets". Two days later, the Gallant government, in the person of Stephen Horsman, climbed down and pledged to rewrite the legislation.
Most of the current members were elected at the general election on September 22, 2014, Progressive Conservative Glen Savoie was elected at a November 17, 2014 by-election.
|Brian Keirstead||Progressive Conservative||Albert||2014 g.e.||Environment Critic|
|Denis Landry||Liberal||Bathurst East-Nepisiguit-Saint-Isidore||1995 g.e.||Natural Resources Minister; Human Resources Minister|
|Brian Kenny||Liberal||Bathurst West-Beresford||2003 g.e.||Environment and Local Government Minister|
|Donald Arseneault||Liberal||Campbellton-Dalhousie||2003 g.e.||Energy and Mines Minister|
|Hédard Albert||Liberal||Caraquet||2003 g.e.||Government House Leader; Chief Government Whip|
|David Alward||Progressive Conservative||Carleton||1999 g.e.||Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Critic|
|Stewart Fairgrieve||Progressive Conservative||2015 by-e.|
|Andrew Harvey||Liberal||Carleton-Victoria||2014 g.e.|
|Carl Urquhart||Progressive Conservative||Carleton-York||2006 g.e.||Opposition Whip|
|John Ames||Liberal||Charlotte-Campobello||2014 g.e.|
|Roger Melanson||Liberal||Dieppe||2010 g.e.||Finance Minister; Transportation and Infrastructure Minister|
|Madeleine Dubé||Progressive Conservative||Edmundston-Madawaska Centre||1999 g.e.||Opposition House Leader; Health Critic|
|Pam Lynch||Progressive Conservative||Fredericton-Grand Lake||2010 g.e.||Opposition Caucus Chair|
|Stephen Horsman||Liberal||Fredericton North||2014 g.e.||Deputy Premier; Public Safety Minister; Justice Minister|
|David Coon||Green||Fredericton South||2014 g.e.||Third Party Leader|
|Brian Macdonald||Progressive Conservative||Fredericton West-Hanwell||2010 g.e.||Government Services Critic|
|Kirk MacDonald||Progressive Conservative||Fredericton-York||1999 g.e.||Economic Development Critic|
|Rick Doucet||Liberal||Fundy-The Isles-Saint John West||2003 g.e.||Economic Development Minister; Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister|
|Ross Wetmore||Progressive Conservative||Gagetown-Petitcodiac||2010 g.e.||Tourism, Heritage and Culture Critic|
|Gary Crossman||Progressive Conservative||Hampton||2014 g.e.||Education Critic|
|Bertrand LeBlanc||Liberal||Kent North||2010 g.e.|
|Benoît Bourque||Liberal||Kent South||2014 g.e.|
|Bill Oliver||Progressive Conservative||Kings Centre||2014 g.e.||Natural Resources Critic|
|Francine Landry||Liberal||Madawaska les Lacs-Edmundston||2014 g.e.||Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Critic|
|Bernard LeBlanc||Liberal||Memramcook-Tantramar||2006 g.e.||Deputy Speaker|
|Bill Fraser||Liberal||Miramichi||2006 g.e.||Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister|
|Lisa Harris||Liberal||Miramichi Bay-Neguac||2014 g.e.||Deputy Speaker|
|Chris Collins||Liberal||Moncton Centre||2007 by-e.||Speaker|
|Monique LeBlanc||Liberal||Moncton East||2014 g.e.||Government Caucus Chair|
|Ernie Steeves||Progressive Conservative||Moncton Northwest||2014 g.e.||Social Development Critic|
|Cathy Rogers||Liberal||Moncton South||2014 g.e.||Social Development Minister; Healthy and Inclusive Communities Minister|
|Sherry Wilson||Progressive Conservative||Moncton Southwest||2010 g.e.||Local Government Critic; Health and Inclusive Communities Critic|
|Jeff Carr||Progressive Conservative||New Maryland-Sunbury||2014 g.e.||Transportation and Infrastructure Critic|
|Jody Carr||Progressive Conservative||Oromocto-Lincoln||1999 g.e.|
|Trevor Holder||Progressive Conservative||Portland-Simonds||1999 g.e.||Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Critic|
|Blaine Higgs||Progressive Conservative||Quispamsis||2010 g.e.||Opposition Leader & Finance Critic|
|Daniel Guitard||Liberal||Restigouche-Chaleur||2014 g.e.||Government Deputy Whip|
|Gilles LePage||Liberal||Restigouche West||2014 g.e.|
|Bruce Fitch||Progressive Conservative||Riverview||2003 g.e.|
|Ted Flemming||Progressive Conservative||Rothesay||2012 by-e.||Justice Critic; Shadow Attorney General|
|Gary Keating||Liberal||Saint John East||2014 g.e.||Resigned October 14, 2014|
|Glen Savoie||Progressive Conservative||2010 g.e.||Elected in by-election on November 17, 2014.|
|Ed Doherty||Liberal||Saint John Harbour||2005 by-e.||Government Services Minister|
|Dorothy Shephard||Progressive Conservative||Saint John Lancaster||2010 g.e.||Human Resources Critic|
|Brian Gallant||Liberal||Shediac Bay-Dieppe||2013 by-e.||Premier|
|Victor Boudreau||Liberal||Shediac-Beaubassin-Cap-Pelé||2004 by-e.||Health Minister|
|Wilfred Roussel||Liberal||Shippagan-Lamèque-Miscou||2014 g.e.|
|Jake Stewart||Progressive Conservative||Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin||2010 g.e.||Energy and Mines Critic|
|Bruce Northrup||Progressive Conservative||Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins||2006 g.e.||Public Safety Critic|
|Serge Rousselle||Liberal||Tracadie-Sheila||2014 g.e.||Education and Early Childhood Development Minister; Attorney General|
|Chuck Chiasson||Liberal||Victoria-la-Vallée||2014 g.e.|
Standings changes in the 58th AssemblyEdit
|Number of members
per party by date
|September 22||October 14||November 17||May 22||October 5||November 30||May 10||July 1|
|Membership changes in the 58th Assembly|
|September 22, 2014||See List of Members||Election day of the 2014 New Brunswick general election|
|October 14, 2014||Gary Keating||Saint John East||Liberal||Resigned for personal reasons|
|November 17, 2014||Glen Savoie||Progressive Conservative||By-election|
|May 22, 2015||David Alward||Carleton||Progressive Conservative||Resigned after being named consul general to Boston|
|October 5, 2015||Stewart Fairgrieve||Progressive Conservative||By-election|
|November 30, 2017||Donald Arseneault||Campbellton-Dalhousie||Liberal||Resigned|
|May 10, 2018||Chris Collins||Moncton Centre||Independent||Left Liberal Party due to disagreement over handling of harassment allegations|
|July 1, 2018||Madeleine Dubé||Edmundston-Madawaska Centre||Progressive Conservative||Resigned to accept appointment as vice-rector of the Université de Moncton|
- "New Brunswick throne speech warns of looming get-tough budget". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- cbc.ca: "Dr. Eilish Cleary studying glyphosate when put on leave", 2 Dec 2015
- cbc.ca: "Eilish Cleary not on leave to force silence: deputy minister", 3 Dec 2015
- cbc.ca: "Dr. Eilish Cleary says she was fired by the Gallant government", 7 Dec 2015
- cbc.ca: "Dr. Eilish Cleary's firing 'not politically motivated,' Liberals say", 8 Dec 2015
- globalnews.ca: "Reaction and speculation grows one day after Dr. Eilish Cleary fired", 8 Dec 2015
- cbc.ca: "Dr. Eilish Cleary, province reach settlement", 15 Jan 2016
- cbc.ca: "Roger Melanson hikes HST, cuts bureaucracy in Liberal budget", 2 Feb 2016
- gnb.ca: "Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)"
- gnb.ca: "TRANSITIONAL RULES FOR THE NEW BRUNSWICK HST RATE INCREASE" Archived 2016-05-31 at the Wayback Machine, 30 Mar 2016
- globalnews.ca: "New Brunswick budget: tax hikes, civil service cuts, no new highway tolls", 2 Feb 2016
- Poitras, Jacques (6 June 2016). "Cabinet shuffle adds 2 new faces and moves all but 2 members". CBC News New Brunswick. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- "New Brunswick cabinet shuffle includes female finance minister, Celtic Affairs post". Global News. Canadian Press. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
- cbc.ca: "Full list of Brian Gallant's new cabinet", 6 Jun 2016
- macleans.ca: "Who’s what after New Brunswick cabinet shuffle", 6 Jun 2016
- fin.gc.ca: "Canada’s Finance Ministers Agree to Strengthen Canada Pension Plan", 20 Jun 2016
- "Keeping ORPP going while awaiting CPP news was ‘worth the cost,’ Wynne says", 21 Jun 2016
- "A new premium on retirement", 22 Jun 2016
- "'Failure' to consult on CPPP hike draws business backlash", 23 Jun 2016, SJTJ
- SJTJ, pA1 3 Nov 2016: "Premier says judges bill back on table" (Huras)
- SJTJ 21 Nov 2016 pA1: "Seniors prepare to battle Grits over personal assets" (Scott-Wallace)
- SJTJ 23 Nov 2016 pA1: "Liberals rewrite divisive seniors bill"
| New Brunswick Legislative Assemblies