Brian Gallant

Brian Alexander Gallant, Q.C. (born April 27, 1982) is a Canadian politician who served as the 33rd Premier of New Brunswick from October 7, 2014 until November 9, 2018. Of Acadian and Dutch descent, Gallant practised as a lawyer before winning the Liberal leadership in October 2012, securing the riding of Kent in a by-election on April 15, 2013, shortly followed by his swearing in as Leader of the Opposition. After the 2014 election, in which the Progressive Conservative government of David Alward was defeated, Gallant was sworn in as Premier at the age of 32.

Brian Gallant

Premier Brian Gallant.jpg
33rd Premier of New Brunswick
In office
October 7, 2014 – November 9, 2018
MonarchElizabeth II
Lieutenant GovernorGraydon Nicholas
Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau
DeputyStephen Horsman
Preceded byDavid Alward
Succeeded byBlaine Higgs
Attorney General of New Brunswick
In office
May 11, 2018 – November 9, 2018
Preceded bySerge Rousselle
Succeeded byAndrea Anderson-Mason
Leader of the Opposition of New Brunswick
In office
November 9, 2018 – February 14, 2019
Preceded byBlaine Higgs
Succeeded byDenis Landry
In office
April 30, 2013 – October 7, 2014
Preceded byVictor Boudreau
Succeeded byBruce Fitch
Leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Association
In office
October 27, 2012 – February 12, 2019
Preceded byShawn Graham
Victor Boudreau (interim)
Succeeded byDenis Landry
Member of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly
for Shediac Bay-Dieppe
Kent (2013–2014)
In office
April 15, 2013 – October 7, 2019
Preceded byShawn Graham[1]
Succeeded byTBD
Personal details
Born
Brian Alexander Gallant

(1982-04-27) April 27, 1982 (age 37)
Shediac Bridge, New Brunswick, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)
Karine Lavoie (m. 2017)
OccupationPolitician, Lawyer
Signature

Gallant announced, on November 15, 2018, that he will be stepping down as Liberal leader as soon as a leadership election is held to choose his successor.[2] He resigned as MLA for Shediac Bay-Dieppe on October 7, 2019.[3][4]

At age 32, he was the second youngest Premier of New Brunswick to assume office (George Edwin King became premier at age 30 in 1870). When Gallant left office at age 36, he was the youngest premier in Canada.

Early lifeEdit

Gallant was born in Shediac Bridge. His Acadian father, Pierre, was the youngest of seven children, while his mother, Marilyn (born Scholten), was the child of Dutch immigrants who arrived in the 1950s.[5] He also has two siblings, Melissa and Pierre. In his youth, he was educated at a variety of schools across New Brunswick; he ascribed his many moves to his parents' search for work, labouring at minimum wage jobs in convenience stores and fast food restaurants, eventually having to move the family into the small home of Gallant's grandparents.[6] He ended up graduating from Polyvalente Louis-J.-Robichaud back in Shediac - his principal recalled telling Gallant he predicted he would one day be Premier, saying, "You have all the qualities of being a future premier here in New Brunswick."[7] Gallant says his interest in politics started when, with nobody else offering, he became vice president of his grade 5 class, and by the end of his teenage years he decided he would pursue a political career.[7]

In order to pay his way through university, he started and ran two small companies, eventually allowing him to graduate from the Université de Moncton with both a BA in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Laws degree, later receiving a Master's in Law from McGill University.[5] Whilst at Moncton, he was made president of the student federation.[6] Afterwards, he practised corporate and commercial law with the firm Stewart McKelvey, and then became a partner at Veritas Law in Dieppe.

Early political careerEdit

His first foray into provincial politics was an ambitious one as, at 24, he secured the Liberal nomination to run against Premier Bernard Lord in the Progressive Conservative's riding of Moncton East for the 2006 election.[7] Although in the end Lord held his seat, the election was far from being a runaway. The campaign against a sitting premier gave added exposure to Gallant.

When the Liberal government of Shawn Graham was defeated in 2010, Gallant authored a paper on reforming the Liberal Party, to make it more accessible for new members and a new generation of leaders to emerge; many of its recommendations were reportedly adopted. After Graham's resignation as leader of the party, Gallant put himself forward to succeed him, winning against former justice minister Mike Murphy and dairy farmer Nick Duivenvorden in its 2012 leadership election.[6] After a successful by-election run in Graham's former riding of Kent, where he gained a commanding lead, Gallant was sworn into the Legislative Assembly on April 30, 2013, making him Leader of the Opposition to David Alward's PC government.[5]

Leader of the OppositionEdit

Heading into the 2014 election campaign, Gallant pushed a $900 million package of infrastructure spending over six years as a way to create 1,700 jobs for a province with one of the country's worst unemployment rates. He also campaigned on a tax rate increase for some of the province's biggest earners,[8] and on removing property tax breaks for businesses.[9] The Liberal platform also promised a rise in the minimum wage, from $10 per hour, to $10.30 per hour by the end of 2014, and to $11 by the end of 2017.[10]

PremierEdit

On an election night marred by technical glitches with the voting tabulators, the Liberals won a majority and formed the government in the 58th New Brunswick Legislature with Gallant as Premier on October 7, 2014. Gallant's first cabinet, of 13 members, was smaller than the outgoing cabinet.[11]

During his government’s mandate the province’s economy and exports grew each year;[12] the unemployment rate which was hovering around 10% was reduced to just over 7%;[13] in 2016 KPMG found that three of the four most cost competitive cities in which to do business in Canada and the United States were in New Brunswick;[14] the province’s population grew to a record high surpassing 770,000 people for the first time;[15] one of the most vibrant cybersecurity clusters in North America was developed in New Brunswick’s capital city; and the province saw its first budget surplus in a decade.[16]

The Gallant government increased the budget for education and early childhood development by 15% over its mandate in order to invest in literacy initiatives, introduce coding in more schools, and reintroduce trades in high schools.

The Gallant government created programs to help the middle class with the cost of childcare and to provide free childcare to families which need the most support.[17] The Gallant government also created programs to help the middle class with the cost of tuition and to provide free tuition for those who need the most support.[18]

The Gallant government eliminated the unconstitutional two doctor rule that was hindering a women’s right to choose for decades in New Brunswick.[19] In 2016, New Brunswick welcomed the most Syrian refugees displaced by the humanitarian crisis per capita of all the provinces in the country.[20] Gallant was the first premier in the history of New Brunswick to walk in a pride parade.[21]

The Gallant government also advanced women’s equality by moving pay equity forward to the point of New Brunswick having the second lowest gender wage gap of all the Canadian provinces in 2017;[22] by having over 50% of government appointments to agencies, boards, and commissions go to women;[23] and by providing the first gender parity on New Brunswick’s provincial court.[24]

Gallant has repeatedly stated that climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity. With this in mind, the Gallant government took concrete action to protect the environment including by creating the “Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy” plan which commits to historic measures to fight climate change.[25] The Gallant government also placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and a ban on the disposal of fracked wastewater in municipal systems.[26]

In addition to premier, Gallant has served New Brunswick as the Attorney General, the Minister responsible for innovation, the Minister responsible for women’s equality, and the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

The 2018 provincial election resulted in Gallant's Liberals winning only 21 seats compared to Blaine Higgs and the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick who won 22. Gallant vowed to attempt to remain in power with a minority government and hoped to retain the confidence of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick either on a vote-by-vote basis or with the agreement of the smaller parties, the Green Party of New Brunswick and the People's Alliance of New Brunswick, each of which won 3 seats in the election.[27][28]

On November 2, 2018 Gallant's Liberal minority government was defeated by a confidence vote on its throne speech by a margin of 25 to 23 with the opposition Progressive Conservatives and People's Alliance voting against the government and the Greens voting with the government.[29]

Resignation and post-government lifeEdit

Gallant resigned as premier on November 2, 2018. Blaine Higgs was appointed in his place. Gallant announced his intention to step down as Liberal leader days later and officially resigned as Liberal leader and Leader of the Opposition in February 2019, also announcing that he would not be standing for re-election as an MLA.[30]

In September 2019, he announced his intention to resign his seat in the legislature by October 7, 2019, after accepting a position as an advisor to the president of Ryerson University in Toronto on innovation, cybersecurity, and the law.[3]

Electoral recordEdit

2006 New Brunswick general election: Moncton East
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Progressive Conservative Bernard Lord 3816 54.8% +2.7%
Liberal Brian Gallant 2827 40.6% +1.8%
New Democratic Mark Robar 319 4.6% -4.4%
2012 Liberal leadership election results[31]
Candidate Points %
Brian Gallant 3,259.44 59.26
Michael Murphy 2,089.39 37.99
Nick Duivenvoorden 151.17 2.75
April 15, 2013 by-election: Kent
Party Candidate Votes % ±
     Liberal Brian Gallant 3,543 59.10% +3.38
     NDP Susan Levi-Peters[32] 1,615 26.94% +11.62
     Progressive Conservative Jimmy Bourque[33] 837 13.96% -11.79

[34]

2014 New Brunswick general election: Shediac Bay-Dieppe
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Brian Gallant 5,661 64.61
Progressive Conservative Dolorès Poirier 1,678 19.15
New Democratic Agathe Lapointe 803 9.16
Green Stephanie Matthews 620 7.08
Total valid votes 8,762 69.54
Eligible voters 12,643
Liberal notional gain Swing
2018 New Brunswick general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Brian Gallant 6,162 67.09 +2.48
Progressive Conservative Paulin Blaise Ngweth 1,353 14.73 -4.42
Green Michel Albert 906 9.96 +2.79
New Democratic Michel Boudreau 764 8.32 -0.85
Total valid votes 9,185 99.48
Total rejected ballots 48 0.52 +0.18
Turnout 9,233 69.17 -0.37
Eligible voters 13,349
Liberal hold Swing +3.45

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Member for Kent, riding was split for the next election and Gallant ran in new seat of Shediac Bay-Dieppe
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-11-15. Retrieved 2018-11-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/brian-gallant-resignation-mla-seat-1.5273791
  4. ^ Legistrature of New Brunswick, Canada. "59th Legislative Assembly Biographies". www1.gnb.ca. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
  5. ^ a b c "Brian Gallant". Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. 1 May 2013. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Meet Brian". New Brunswick Liberal Association. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Tucker, Erika (23 September 2014). "Who is New Brunswick Premier-designate Brian Gallant?". Global News. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Brian Gallant defends tax plan on richest New Brunswickers - CBC News".
  9. ^ nbliberal.ca: "2014 New Brunswick Liberal Party Platform" Archived 2015-05-11 at the Wayback Machine, Sep 2014
  10. ^ cbc.ca: "David Alward's PCs pitch tourism marketing fund", 2 Sep 2014
  11. ^ cbc.ca: "Brian Gallant's smaller cabinet faces long list of demands", 7 Oct 2014
  12. ^ [1], 30 Jan 2018
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ "Canada second among 10 countries for cost competitiveness, says KPMG - The Star". thestar.com.
  15. ^ "New Brunswick birth levels fall to historic low in 2018" – via The Globe and Mail.
  16. ^ https://www.agnb-vgnb.ca/content/dam/agnb-vgnb/pdf/Reports-Rapports/2018V3/Agrepe.pdf
  17. ^ Government of New Brunswick, Canada (11 January 2018). "Free daycare for low-income families". www2.gnb.ca.
  18. ^ Government of New Brunswick, Canada (6 December 2017). "Minister: Free Tuition Program a success in its first year". www2.gnb.ca.
  19. ^ Government of New Brunswick, Canada (26 November 2014). "Provincial government removes barriers to a woman's right to choose". www2.gnb.ca.
  20. ^ "Syrian refugee resettlement by province and age in Canada - CTV News". www.ctvnews.ca.
  21. ^ "The All-New TJ.News - A Smart New Responsive Website". TJ News Landing Page.
  22. ^ "Gender Wage Gap - Society Provincial Rankings - How Canada Performs". www.conferenceboard.ca.
  23. ^ "Equality: More than just numbers for New Brunswick Women's Council - New Brunswick - Globalnews.ca". globalnews.ca. 19 May 2017.
  24. ^ Government of New Brunswick, Canada (25 April 2017). "Gender parity, first female chief judge at provincial court". www2.gnb.ca.
  25. ^ https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/env/pdf/Climate-Climatiques/TransitioningToALowCarbonEconomy.pdf
  26. ^ Government of New Brunswick, Canada (18 December 2014). "Government introduces moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New Brunswick". www2.gnb.ca.
  27. ^ "Alliances start to form in wake of N.B. election" – via The Globe and Mail.
  28. ^ "PCs win most seats in N.B. election, Liberals vow to maintain power".
  29. ^ Jacques Poitras. "Brian Gallant's minority New Brunswick government defeated after losing confidence vote - CBC News". CBC.
  30. ^ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/brian-gallant-politics-future-1.4960442
  31. ^ Huras, Adam (October 29, 2012). "Gallant elected new Liberal Leader". TelegraphJournal.com. Retrieved October 29, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ "Susan Levi-Peters wins NDP nomination in Kent". CBC News. March 24, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  33. ^ "Kent byelection Tory candidate acclaimed". CBC News. March 19, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
  34. ^ "Elections New Brunswick". Gnb.ca. Archived from the original on 2014-06-22. Retrieved 2014-08-27.