Dear Liberal friends,
I’m writing this to you on my 100th day on the job. What an amazing three months it has been since that remarkable Saturday at the Leadership Convention in August. Thank you for giving me this honour and opportunity!It’s been a busy 100 days. Here are a few of the things that I’ve been up to:
Laying the Foundation
We’ve been busy staffing up both the New Brunswick Liberal Association and the Office of the Official Opposition. We’ve hired a permanent Executive Director, Hannah Fulton Johnston, who is already hard at work organizing the NBLA to be ready for the next election. We’ve also hired Alaina Lockhart, former MP for Fundy Royal, as the Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition. I’m really excited to have both of these talented individuals on the leadership team!
Listening to You
I’ve been spending much of my time on the road, visiting every corner of our beautiful province and meeting as many members and volunteers as I can. This includes:
- 27 riding visits and counting with more planned in the coming weeks
- 20 riding meetings
- 16 locally-hosted events
We’ve also hosted three party-wide events, including the annual Leader’s Dinner where the team and I got to meet and hear from many of you on the issues you care about most.
Constructive Opposition in the Legislature
I believe that the role of the Official Opposition is not only to critique, but to propose solutions to issues facing New Brunswickers. One thing is clear, this province is facing a healthcare crisis and Mr. Higgs does not seem to have a plan to improve healthcare services in this province. That is why our team has come up with 6 health ideas for the Government to consider. Click here to check them out!
In the Legislature, we’ve been working hard to hold the government to account and protect the cultural and linguistic rights in our province. Our team of Liberal MLA’s have been asking questions and digging deeper to ensure you have answers on issues like the response to the Commissioner’s report on the Official Languages Act, support for New Brunswickers struggling with the cost of living, French Immersion, and so much more.
Our caucus members are doing a tremendous job keeping the Higgs government accountable. Since the current Legislative session began on October 25th, we’ve tabled 11 motions detailing ways the government could start addressing issues like housing, healthcare, the cost of living, the official languages review, education and more!
On Friday, November 18th, we unanimously passed Bill 8: An Act to Amend the Elections Act! This closes the loophole that Premier Higgs has been using to delay by-elections, meaning the three upcoming by-elections will be held within six months.
Building for the Future
The hard work preparing for the 2024 election has officially started. So far, we’ve held eight different events and raised more than $150,000 in just 3 months! Every single donation helps, large or small. If you are able, I encourage you to donate here.
I have also invested a lot of time building relationships with diverse community groups and leaders, as I believe the best ideas come from the folks on the ground who deal with issues on a daily basis.
With the help of Robert Gauvin as the caucus’ Campaign Chair, we have started recruiting candidates and building the local foundations for our 2024 campaign. This is just the beginning, but the conversations so far have been promising!
Bold Changes Toward Openness & Accessibility
A few changes we have implemented over the last quarter include ensuring all events are inclusive and accessible, both with ‘pay what you can’ ticket contributions as well as live-streaming, hosting open Q&As in person and online; we are embracing open data and transparency by making more information available to the Executive, volunteers and the public.
Over the next 100 days, Hannah and I will organize the rest of the local riding association visits so that we will connect with all 49 teams and communities. We will also be refreshing our communications with you:
- Developing a new policy piece on Housing;
- Planning the 2023 Biennial Convention;
- Starting to put together the foundational pieces for the 2024 campaign planning team;
- Preparing for the three up-coming by-elections in Dieppe, Restigouche-Chaleur, and in the seat that I intend to run in, Bathurst East-Nepisiguit-Saint-Isidore.
Friends, these are very exciting times. I sincerely appreciate your ongoing commitment to our party and your support to me and our team as we refresh our long-standing organization, implement changes, and look to the future with hope.