The Office of the Official Opposition is condemning the luxurious living expenses paid to multiple government officials who are closely linked to Premier Higgs.
“It’s already a little suspect when people who have close and personal ties to the Premier receive high paying government jobs, but when their living expenses and travel are also subsidized, it raises some serious red flags” says Opposition Leader Roger Melanson. “This is an abuse of power. The Premier has hand-picked people form his circle and gave them high paying positions of authority.”
Yennah Hurley, now the Deputy Minister of Tourism Heritage and Culture, was first hired as a consultant and was immediately paid a deputy minister salary. John Logan, who worked with the Premier at Irving Oil, was also paid deputy minister salary for being a consultant.
“Lots of people regularly commute between the Saint John area and Fredericton for work on their own dime, it’s common practice. If you’re receiving a deputy minister’s salary, you can afford to commute like everyone else” says Roger Melanson. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for your apartment in Fredericton and your commute, it’s just not right.”
As the Premier continues to ignore the growing housing crisis and increasing pleas for rent control in the province, Roger Melanson says this news is a slap in the face for New Brunswickers who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. “People and families are being forced to leave their apartments due to sudden rent hikes of up to 60% but the Higgs government is not taking the housing crisis seriously. Instead, they provide taxpayer funded salaries, housing and subsidized travel for the Premier’s inner circle.”