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Governing not ‘easy work,’ says New Brunswick premier as he prepares for election

FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is delivering his state of the province speech as his government prepares for an election this year.

The Progressive Conservative premier told a crowd that governing was not easy work, and that the party didn’t always agree on “complex issues” but could come together when needed.

He also says a population boom has brought with it problems in housing, health care and schools, and that it’s been difficult managing that growth.

But he says he has a vision for the future that includes closing the gap on basic reading and math scores and creating programs to address addiction and homelessness.

Higgs has faced a tumultuous past year that saw him take the province to the precipice of an election as two of his ministers — labour minister Trevor Holder and Dorothy Shephard in social development — resigned from cabinet in June, citing the changes made to New Brunswick’s policy on gender identity in schools.

Six Tory members of the legislature voted with the Opposition, calling for a review of the changes made to Policy 713 by the province’s child and youth advocate.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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