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

Higgs leadership review has ‘not been triggered’: party president

By Brad Perry Jul 31, 2023 | 2:51 PM

A leadership review of Premier Blaine Higgs has not been triggered, according to the president of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick.

“I have determined that the requirements have not been satisfied,” Erika Hachey wrote in a letter sent to PCNB members.

In late June, a total of 26 riding association presidents and more than 50 members reportedly signed letters calling for a review.

According to the party’s constitution, more than 50 members must make a request, including at least 20 riding presidents, in order to trigger the process.

Hachey said they received “over 40 valid requests” from current members, with only 15 coming from riding presidents.

“With the assistance of Party staff, I have reviewed the requests to determine whether the requirements of Article 14 of the Party’s Constitution have been satisfied. The Party has also sought legal advice to determine whether the requests are valid,” she wrote in the letter.

“Because fewer than 50 members, including fewer than 20 riding presidents, have submitted valid requests, the leadership review process has not been triggered.”

While a leadership review has not been triggered at this point, Hachey’s letter suggested that could change over the next couple of weeks,

Hachey said notices will be sent this week to every person who submitted a request — provided they have their contact info — to confirm they have received their request and, if it was not accepted, explain why.

“Valid requests may be submitted by those individuals and other current members by August 19, 2023,” she wrote.

The party president also confirmed that she has scheduled the next provincial council meeting for Sept. 9.

If the required number of valid requests is submitted, a leadership review would be added to that meeting’s agenda.

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

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.

In June, reports surfaced that Higgs launched “a vicious verbal attack” during a 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 in recent weeks after supporting a Liberal motion calling for more consultations on Policy 713.


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