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The New Brunswick legislature in Fredericton. Image: Brad Perry

Provincial cabinet shuffle coming Tuesday

By Brad Perry Jun 26, 2023 | 3:11 PM

We are likely to see some new faces in Premier Blaine Higgs’ cabinet this week.

A swearing-in ceremony will take place Tuesday morning at Government House in Fredericton.

It comes after two of the premier’s cabinet ministers resigned from their positions over the past two weeks.

Trevor Holder stepped down from his role as post-secondary education, training and labour minister on Friday.

His resignation came eight days after Dorothy Shephard did the same with her social development portfolio.

Both MLAs, who remain in the Progressive Conservative caucus, raised concerns about the premier’s leadership style.

“Under the leadership of Premier Higgs, caucus has been less about consensus and more about him getting his own way,” Holder said in a letter released on Friday.

“His lack of empathy as well as his inability to listen to valid concerns of all members of his caucus demonstrates a further inability to lead the citizens of New Brunswick.”

Shephard said it had been difficult as a cabinet minister to try and move things forward over the past couple of years.

“I put my head down, I worked as hard as I could and I got done as much as I could,” Shephard said in an interview.

“I just really felt that I had reached a point where accomplishing anything was not going to be manageable.”

It remains to be seen whether Higgs will simply be filling these two portfolios or if he plans to shuffle other ministers out of their current portfolios.

Local Government Minister Daniel Allain and Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jeff Carr sided with an opposition Liberal motion calling for more consultations on Policy 713, the government’s LGBTQ+ policy in schools.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn and Service New Brunswick Minister Jill Green joined their four cabinet colleagues in sitting out of the legislature on the morning the revised policy was unveiled.

The six cabinet ministers, along with Andrea Anderson-Mason and Ross Wetmore, said it was their way of expressing their “extreme disappointment in a lack of process and transparency.”


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