People's Alliance of New Brunswick

The People's Alliance of New Brunswick (PANB) is a provincial political party registered in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. In the 2018 election, the party won three seats in the provincial legislature for the first time since its founding. The party advocates for "common sense" government and the abolition of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, with a transfer of that office's responsibilities to the office of the provincial ombudsman.[6] The party's platform has been described as "a mixture of economic conservatism, rural populism and opposition to some aspects of official bilingualism and duality".[7]

People's Alliance of New Brunswick
Alliance des gens du Nouveau-Brunswick
Active provincial party
LeaderKris Austin
PresidentSharon Buchanon
FoundedJune 9, 2010 (2010-06-09) (officially registered)[1]
HeadquartersFredericton, New Brunswick
IdeologyConservatism
Fiscal conservatism[2]
Social conservatism
Right-wing populism[3][4]
Political positionRight-wing[5]
ColoursPurple
Seats in Legislature
2 / 49
Website
www.peoplesalliance.ca

HistoryEdit

The People's Alliance Party of New Brunswick was created in the spring of 2010 amidst opposition to the provincial government's plan to sell NB Power to Hydro-Quebec, and was officially registered on June 9, 2010.[1]

In the provincial election held on September 27, 2010, the party aimed to run as many candidates as possible.[8] It nominated 14, none of whom were elected. The party won 4,365 votes in those ridings.

The current provincial leader of the party is Kris Austin, a former interdenominational minister and candidate for the PC Party nomination in the Grand Lake-Gagetown riding.[9] He was the Deputy Mayor of Minto from 2012 to 2016.

Relationship with francophone communitiesEdit

After the 2018 election, representatives of Acadian and francophone civil society warned against the party, describing it as anti-Francophone and anti-equality.[10] The party has been deemed "infréquentable" ("not to be associated with") by a number of Acadian associations and mayors of Francophone communities who criticized their "anti-Francophone and anti-equality" positions.[11] "Fourteen Acadian associations and the mayors of 19 municipalities signed a letter opposing any coalition that involves the People's Alliance"[12]

2014 electionEdit

During the 2014 election campaign (from August to September 2014), the People's Alliance fielded 18 candidates. In mid-August the governing Progressive Conservative party threatened to pull out of the CBC,[13] Rogers and CTV leaders debates if People's Alliance leader Kris Austin or Green leader David Coon were allowed into the televised debates. CBC stood its ground, citing the right of all New Brunswickers to see and hear all five leaders debate the issues. Soon after PC leader David Alward reversed his decision when CBC was to go ahead without him[14] Rogers soon followed suit, reversing its decision to keep Austin and Coon out. In the end, only CTV (Bell Media) kept Austin and Coon out of its roundtable debate, which was aired three days before election night.

The party did not win any seats in the election; however, leader Kris Austin missed being elected by only 26 votes in the riding of Fredericton-Grand Lake. Austin was granted a recount.[15] The recount upheld the election night results with only one additional vote going to Austin than originally counted.

The party had two third-place finishes with LeRoy Armstrong in Sussex-Fundy-St.Martins and deputy leader Wes Gullison in Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin.

2018 electionEdit

In the 2018 election, the party won three seats in the provincial legislature.[16] Party leader Kris Austin was elected in Fredericton-Grand Lake, Rick DeSaulniers was elected in Fredericton-York, and Michelle Conroy was elected in Miramichi, unseating two-time Liberal Cabinet Minister Bill Fraser. The party won 12.58% of the popular vote.[17][18]

2019 legislative developmentsEdit

At a December 18, 2018 committee meeting, MLAs of the province increased the budget of the Auditor General by $1 million, something that had long been in the platform of the People's Alliance. The Commissioner of Official Languages also received a 25% budget increase, even though the People's Alliance campaigned on abolishing the office. The constituency office budget was also increased by $10,000 to $50,000 for each MLA. This budget had not seen an increase in ten years, and the money went towards office expenses in each constituency. The base budget of each party was changed to $250,000 with an additional $25,000 per MLA in the caucus. Previously, third parties like the People's Alliance received minimal funding on an ad hoc basis.[19] The raise was met with criticism by the Liberal opposition, as cuts were subsequently made to infrastructure projects in sectors including healthcare and education.[20]

2020 electionEdit

In the 2020 provincial election, Austin and Conroy were re-elected while Rick DeSaulniers was defeated. The party won 8.95% of the popular vote.

Election resultsEdit

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2010 Kris Austin 4,363 1.2
0 / 55
  0   5th Extra-parliamentary
2014 7,964 2.1
0 / 49
  0   5th Extra-parliamentary
2018 47,709 12.6
3 / 49
  3   3rd Support Progressive Conservative minority government
2020 33,592 8.9
2 / 49
  1   4th Fourth party

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "People's Alliance forms new N.B. political party". CBC News. June 9, 2010. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010.
  2. ^ Weldon, Tori (September 11, 2018). "People's Alliance platform promises tax, language law reform". CBC News. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  3. ^ Walkom, Thomas (September 25, 2018). "Right-wing populism on rise in New Brunswick". The Toronto Star. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  4. ^ Livesey, Bruce (September 30, 2019). "Political instability roils New Brunswick". National Observer. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  5. ^ "All eyes should be on the Atlantic provinces". iPolitics. October 27, 2019. Retrieved July 5, 2020. In New Brunswick and P.E.I., there are Progressive Conservative minority governments. In New Brunswick, the PC government is largely being propped up by the right-wing People’s Alliance.
  6. ^ Ng, Jessica (October 4, 2019). "Austin threatens to topple government if Higgs accepts language report". CTV News. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  7. ^ "After years on the fringe, People's Alliance ready to take next step". CBC News. August 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "People's Alliance opposes 2nd nuclear plant". CBC News. July 11, 2010. Archived from the original on July 15, 2010.
  9. ^ "People's Alliance: Kris Austin". CBC News. August 13, 2010.
  10. ^ ICI.Radio-Canada.ca, Zone Société-. "La communauté acadienne refuse toute coalition politique avec l'Alliance des gens du N.-B. | Élections Nouveau-Brunswick 2018". Radio-Canada.ca (in French). Radio Canada International. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  11. ^ Qu’est-ce qui motive les francophones de la People’s Alliance?, Acadie Nouvelle, Simon Delattre, 2 septembre 2020.
  12. ^ "Kris Austin defends himself, as Acadian voices against People's Alliance multiply", CBC New Brunswick, Gabrielle Fahmy, September 27, 2018.
  13. ^ "Progressive Conservatives pull out of CBC election debate". CBC News. August 19, 2014.
  14. ^ "Tories reverse decision, agree to CBC election debate". CBC News. August 22, 2014.
  15. ^ "Kris Austin applies for recount in Fredericton-Grand Lake". CBC News. September 29, 2014.
  16. ^ Donkin, Karissa (September 24, 2018). "People's Alliance wins 3 seats in 'significant breakthrough'". CBC News. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  17. ^ Ibrahim, Hadeel; Sturgeon, Nathalie (September 25, 2018). "People's Alliance avoids spotlight as Austin discusses strategy". Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  18. ^ Poitras, Jacques (September 26, 2018). "People's Alliance more likely to support the PCs, Kris Austin says". CBC News. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  19. ^ "Parties agree to boost MLA spending on offices, travel during closed-door meetings". CBC News. May 1, 2019.
  20. ^ "Higgs government under fire for budget cuts and loss of federal dollars". CBC News. December 12, 2018.

External linksEdit