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

PC party members submit letters calling for leadership review

By Brad Perry Jun 30, 2023 | 6:19 AM

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is one step closer to facing a review of his leadership.

A total of 26 Progressive Conservative party presidents have signed letters calling for a review.

Now, they say the “necessary documents” have been submitted to the party’s provincial council.

More than 50 members, including at least 20 riding association presidents, must make a request in writing, according to the party’s constitution.

When that happens, a leadership review can be added to the party’s next provincial council meeting agenda.

A two-thirds majority vote of the provincial council at that meeting would trigger a leadership review within the next three months.

It is unclear when the next provincial council meeting could take place.

Higgs has recently faced backlash within his party that has come to a head as he pushed forward with changes to Policy 713, which had laid out protections for LGBTQ+ youth in schools.

On Monday, reports surfaced that Higgs launched “a vicious verbal attack” during a weekend meeting with members of the provincial Progressive Conservative party’s governing body.

That alleged outburst came on the heels of a letter penned by four past presidents of the party questioning the premier’s leadership and calling on him to resign.

In addition, four cabinet ministers have either resigned or been kicked out by Higgs over the past couple of weeks after supporting a Liberal motion calling for more consultations on Policy 713.

“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,” John Williston, vice president of the Westmorland Albert region, said in an interview last week.

“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.”

Party president Erika Hachey did not respond to an email requesting comment.


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