Statement from Opposition Leader R. Bruce Fitch
I have already said that rotating flat tires won’t fix a blown engine.
New Brunswick has a crisis of leadership originating in the Premier’s office. Until the Premier and his inner circle change what they are doing, we can have a cabinet shuffle every week and it won’t make any difference. The Premier and his advisors need to listen more and spin less. They need to learn the true meaning of ‘consultation’ and a few other words like ‘open’ and ‘transparent’. This new cabinet is doomed to failure if the direction they get from the Premier’s Office does not change.
There are a few returning Ministers who have not had any disappointments, debacles or disasters on their watch, but not that many. We welcome Lisa Harris and John Ames to cabinet and wish them good luck.
Stephen Horsman and Donald Arseneault have no business being at the cabinet table. We have contacted the Canadian Judicial Council about the Horsman/Arseneault matter and will now await their response. Hopefully the new Justice Minister will drop Bill 21.
Cathy Rogers, Francine Landry and Serge Rousselle all had big messes in their former portfolios. It is curious to see only Rogers get promoted and while Landry and Rousselle are demoted.
Leaving Ed Doherty at Aboriginal Affairs is another puzzling move, given the remarks by Chief George Ginnish that their relationship with government has gone from bad to worse.
Victor Boudreau is in a class of his own. The apparent leader of the ATCON 6 attempted one of the greatest shams in the history of public consultation with the Strategic Program Review. Hindsight shows us that it was a million dollars and more spent just to support the Gallant government HST hike. That act alone would be enough to suggest Victor Boudreau is bad for NB, but then when you consider what he is trying to do to our Extra Mural hospital system, having this particular individual involved in any decision making can’t lead to anything good for everyday New Brunswickers. It is ironic that today marks the 3rd anniversary of the unanimous motion of the legislature requesting the Auditor General audit GNB’s relationship with ATCON.
Time will tell if this latest attempt to hit reset will bear any positive fruit for our province, but I stand with the majority of New Brunswickers who remain skeptical of the policies, abilities and motives of the Gallant government. Remember: The HST will go up on July 1st no matter which Liberal MLA is Finance Minister.