Former premier Gallant yet to decide on future as Tory government is sworn in – CP

by ahnationtalk on November 9, 2018112 Views

Source: The Canadian Press
Nov 9, 2018 

By Kevin Bissett


FREDERICTON _ A new Progressive Conservative government will be sworn-in today in New Brunswick, leaving former premier Brian Gallant to decide if he’ll stay on to lead his Liberal party.

Gallant’s minority government was toppled last week in a confidence vote on the throne speech, and he said he hasn’t decided on his future.

“Many people have asked me to stay on to be the leader of the Liberal party, the leader of the Opposition, and go into the next election as leader,” he said Thursday.

“All of these words of encouragement are perhaps what’s making Karine and I think long and hard about exactly how we wish to contribute to the province going forward.”

However, Gallant said he won’t let the decision process drag on, and will announce his intentions soon.

“I do think I can be an effective leader of the Opposition. I really do think we could continue some of the momentum we started if ever we were given the chance to govern again,” he said.

Gallant said if he was to quit as leader, he would remain the MLA for his riding of Shediac Bay-Dieppe.

Gallant has close ties with a number of key players in the federal Liberal party, including his friend, Dominic LeBlanc, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Northern Affairs and Internal Trade _ but Gallant said he has no intentions to make a run at federal politics in next year’s election.

He said in retrospect, many of his initiatives over the last four years put too much pressure on businesses. Gallant said he didn’t do enough to talk about the benefits of bilingualism, and did a poor job of communicating with New Brunswickers.

“These are some of the things I should have done better as premier and I take full responsibility for the results of the election and I’m going to make it my responsibility, in whichever role I will play moving forward, to learn from those mistakes and consistently try to improve,” he said.

Standings in the 49-seat legislature are 22 Tories, 21 Liberals, three Green party members and three People’s Alliance MLAs.

The Tories can stay in office with the support of the three Alliance members, which gives them the 25 votes needed for a majority.


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