Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Premier Blaine Higgs speaking at the 2023 State of the Province address. Image: Fredericton Chamber of Commerce

PC riding association presidents call for leadership review

By Brad Perry Jun 22, 2023 | 5:58 AM

There are growing calls from within the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick (PCNB) for a review of their own leader.

One regional vice-president said at least 26 of 49 riding association presidents have signed letters calling for a leadership review.

In an interview on Wednesday, John Williston said he believes that number will increase in the coming days.

“This is not a happy time in our party,” said Williston, who is vice president of the Westmorland Albert region.

“We’re in a situation now where about one-third of the provincial caucus is basically in open revolt from the leadership of the premier.”

Eight Tory MLAs sat out of the legislature when controversial changes to Policy 713, the province’s LGBTQ+ policy in schools, were brought forward.

Those changes were the final straw for MLA Dorothy Shephard, who resigned from Premier Blaine Higgs’ cabinet one week later.

“With all due respect, I feel that caucus feels they’re not heard by the premier, and I feel that the riding associations feel that they’re not heard as well,” said Williston.

“That top-down leadership style can only exist for so long in a political movement and I think people are looking for a new style of leadership and a new chapter.”

Under the PCNB constitution, a leadership review can be added to the party’s next provincial council meeting agenda if more than 50 members, including at least 20 riding association presidents, make a request in writing.

A two-thirds majority vote of the provincial council at that meeting would trigger a leadership review within the next three months — a number Williston believes is “very attainable.”

“My hope is the premier will realize the severity of the situation and, upon review, decide to do the right thing which would be to resign without going through the whole process of a leadership review,” said Williston.


Leave a Reply