The Official Opposition’s Post-Secondary Education critic, Guy Arseneault, says Post Secondary Education Minister Trevor Holder should be the one providing the public with the facts to prove that patronage did not play a role in the hiring process that resulted in Kevin Cormier being named Executive Director Public Libraries of New Brunswick.
The appointment to the job, which comes with a salary of $114,000 a year, has come under criticism from a number of different groups because of Cormier’s apparent lack of qualifications.
“Everyone thinks political interference played a role in this process. The Atlantic Provinces Library Association and the Chair of the New Brunswick Public Libraries Board are expressing serious concerns, even the general public is questioning this man’s credentials,” says Arseneault.
“The Minister says there was no political interference, but if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then you’re going to have to prove that it’s not a duck.”
The Official Opposition has filed a Right to Information request asking for all documentation in relation to the competition process for the position including, among other things, the number of applicants, the number of people interviewed, as well as details on how each of these requirements for the position were weighed when assessing the qualifications of each applicant.
“If Minister Holder truly has full confidence in the hiring process, then he shouldn’t be afraid to make this information public.” says Arseneault. “For the time being, stakeholders and the general public are raising very serious concerns about Cormier’s lack of qualifications and they deserve answers. Is this what Premier Higgs had in mind when he said he would do politics differently?
“The sooner the minister lays the real facts on the table on this matter, the better.”