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Progressive Conservative MLA Dorothy Shephard speaks in the legislature on Nov. 25, 2022. Image: New Brunswick Legislature video capture

PC MLA Dorothy Shephard not re-offering

By Brad Perry Mar 21, 2024 | 11:28 AM

Another New Brunswick Progressive Conservative MLA has decided not to re-offer in the upcoming election.

Dorothy Shephard said Thursday she made the decision after much discussion with her family and supporters.

“It has been an honour to serve the people of Saint John Lancaster for the past thirteen and a half years,” Shephard said in a social media post, adding she will remain as MLA until the next election.

Shephard is one of several Progressive Conservatives MLAs who have butted heads with Premier Blaine Higgs over the past few months.

Last June, she and five other Tories sided with a Liberal motion calling for more study on changes to Policy 713, the province’s school gender identity policy.

Shephard resigned from cabinet that day, where she was serving as the social development minister.

In an interview after her resignation, the MLA said she felt several significant files were not being handled well publicly.

“I develop relationships with people and the kind of relationship I didn’t want with the public was one that was adversarial and certainly lacked empathy,” said Shephard. “I couldn’t have that any longer.”

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

She said there were many times when she felt as though she had done all she could do, but her friends and colleagues kept her motivated.

In Thursday’s statement, Shephard said she is proud of the work she has contributed to, including kinship legislation in 2019, which solidified options for supporting children in care.

“I was reminded recently by a colleague that ‘every government does good work.’ I sincerely believe I have contributed to good work and am grateful for having had this experience,” she said.

“While there is still much to accomplish, I have always been comfortable knowing that others will come behind me to pick up and continue the work.”

After much discussion with my husband, family and supporters I have decided that I shall not seek re-election in the…

Posted by Dorothy Shephard on Thursday, March 21, 2024