Monday, 2 Oct 2023

Vickers urges premier to call byelections ahead of March deadline

The leader of New Brunswick’s Liberal party is calling on premier Blaine Higgs to set dates for two byelections as soon as possible, despite a legislative deadline next week.

People in the riding of Saint Croix have been without representation since MLA Greg Thompson died in September, and the riding of Shediac Bay-Dieppe has been empty since former premier Brian Gallant resigned in October.

“It’s critical for the citizens of Saint Croix and Shediac Bay-Dieppe to have representation in the house at the earliest possible opportunity,” said Liberal leader Kevin Vickers.

But Vickers’ call to action comes just a week before the March 11 deadline set out in New Brunswick’s Elections Act.

Higgs has already committed to that deadline multiple times. During a year-end interview with Global News on December 19 Higgs said he would set dates in March.

“I have about a six month period to do that and I think it runs out sometime in March and I will announce the dates for the by-elections at that time,” he said.

When the byelections will actually take place is another matter. Nothing in the Elections Act limits when a byelection must be held, only when the date for a by-election must be set.

Vickers said the Liberals will go about closing that loophole at the earliest possibility.

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