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New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs. Image: CPAC video capture/file photo

First Throne Speech In Nearly Two Years

By Tim Herd Oct 25, 2022 | 6:00 AM

The Higgs government’s first throne speech in nearly two years will take place on Tuesday afternoon.

It comes just weeks after Dominic Cardy resigned as New Brunswick’s education minister and was later removed from the Progressive Conservative caucus.

“When you have the politics of the last couple of weeks, and when you have the future of Blaine Higgs, all of the question marks around all of those of what it means for the political landscape, this speech could give us some clues of what will happen next,” said J.P. Lewis, a political scientist and associate professor at UNB Saint John.

Lewis anticipates there will be several areas the government could focus on in its speech — the first since November 2020 — including health care, cost of living, and education.

“I’d imagine the big ticket items would be the cost of living, the health care system, and education, but more specifically looking at the possibility of any reform to French immersion,” he said.

Lewis believes New Brunswickers might see how much political capital the Higgs government has decided to spend on French immersion in its latest throne speech.

French second language learning was thrust back into the spotlight when Cardy resigned on Oct. 13.

Cardy wrote that the premier had pressured the department to “abolish French immersion by September 2023.”

Lewis added while the provincial election is still a couple of years away, the throne speech could be a key indicator to learn if Higgs will run again as the Tory leader.

“We are at a point in the mandate where we should think about the policy decisions that politics are playing towards the next general election,” he said.

The throne speech is scheduled to be delivered around 1 p.m. Tuesday.


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