Two seats in the New Brunswick Legislature remain vacant, St. Croix, held by the late Greg Thompson and Shediac Bay-Dieppe, held by former Premier, Brian Gallant.
“It has been almost six months since Brian Gallant resigned his seat in Shediac Bay-Dieppe,” said Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers. “The people of that riding and the people of St. Croix deserve representation in the New Brunswick Legislature, especially in light of the intention of the Premier to move forward with drastic changes to our health system.”
Vickers believes the Premier has only put the health cuts on hold temporarily and, if given the chance, he will move forward with his agenda of health cuts.
“People have lost trust in the Higgs government and for good reason. The Premier first tells people that he put the cuts on hold because they were not well thought out and he didn’t ask the right questions,” said Vickers. “This past weekend, he changed his story and admitted that the health cuts were put on hold because he feared that his government did not have enough support to win a non-confidence vote. This is unacceptable and people deserve better!”
Vickers is concerned that the Premier will use a loophole in the Elections Act that allows him to push off calling the by-elections.
“It is unacceptable that the Premier would use such a tactic to deny timely representation to the people of St. Croix and Shediac Bay-Dieppe,” said Vickers. “The Premier should respect the spirit and intent of the Elections Act which intends that in the event of a vacancy, a by-election should be called and the writ period commenced.”
Vickers indicated that his party would be bringing legislative amendments forward in the upcoming session to address this ambiguity in the Elections Act.
“If the Premier is not prepared to honour what was intended under the Legislation, we will try to ensure through legislative amendments that future governments do so.”