Mount Allison Political Science professor Mario Levesque is surprised at the cabinet positions given to the MLA for Shippagan-Lameque-Miscou.
Robert Gauvin is Deputy Premier, as well as Minister of La Francophonie, and Tourism, Heritage and Culture – that last role, Levesque says is good, but a relatively junior position overall.
“Would have needed to have something like either Post-Secondary Education, or Social Development, or for that matter, even Intergovernmental Affairs would be good in here, and combine that with the Deputy’s job as well,” says Levesque.
Levesque believes Gauvin’s cabinet roles show language issues are on the backburner, and will be minimized under the Blaine Higgs government.
Meanwhile, Levesque believes the choice of Andrea Anderson-Mason as Minister of Justice, and Attorney General is a good one, adding she’s a strong MLA, and he looks forward to seeing her positions and how she carries out Higgs’ orders.
“Especially in relation to language issues, the government needs to make sure they follow through with the review in January, and then to go accordingly to what the court says ought to be done, so they need to follow the rule of law on that one,” says Levesque.
However, it is not a surprise at all to Levesque, that former NB NDP leader Dominic Cardy was given a powerful cabinet position after resigning as NDP leader in January 2017, and then going on to join the Progressive Conservatives, and win election in Fredericton West – Hanwell.
“It’ll be interesting to see how he wants to handle that, because he did run for the NDP as its former leader, which would have been more left, but his policies were more on the right which fits better with the [Progressive] Conservative party,” says Levesque. “So we’ll see how he carries out the mandate of Blaine Higgs.”
Levesque says his biggest concerns about the Higgs cabinet so far is that it is ‘huge and unwarranted’ in size, includes 17 of 22 PC MLAs, and each position comes with costly benefits, including a $47,000 pay raise above the base salary.
The full list of Cabinet Members and positions can be found HERE.