New Brunswick's Liberal government falls after throne speech defeated - InfoNews

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New Brunswick's Liberal government falls after throne speech defeated

New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Leader and Premier-designate Blaine Higgs shakes hands with outgoing Premier and New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant following the Throne Speech at the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/James West
November 02, 2018 - 8:30 AM

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's Liberal government has fallen after losing a confidence vote on its throne speech today.

Premier Brian Gallant told the legislature he would be going to the lieutenant-governor to resign — and to suggest Tory Leader Blaine Higgs be given the opportunity to form government.

He wished the Tories luck, saying: "Their success will be New Brunswick's success."

Higgs has said he wants the transition to occur as quickly as possible.

Prior to the vote, Gallant made a final pitch for support with an address closing debate on the throne speech.

He said New Brunswickers voted for change in how political parties govern and he takes full responsibility for the election results.

READ MORE: New Brunswick's next premier is a fiscal hawk and former Irving Oil executive

The Liberals won just 21 seats in the September election - one fewer than the Tories - while the Greens and People's Alliance each won three seats.

Gallant sought to survive with a minority government by adding many of the opposition's campaign promises to his party's throne speech earlier this week, but his party's fate was sealed Thursday when both the Tories and People's Alliance said they'd vote to defeat it.

During his speech today, Gallant acknowledged the weeks since the deadlocked election had been "challenging," but said voters called for a change on how parties govern.

He called for an "agenda of collaboration" no matter which party governed, and admitted he had sometimes fallen into the old partisan ways as premier.

He said it appeared the election results -- which saw the Liberals dominate the largely francophone north and the Tories and right-of-centre People's Alliance do better in the mostly anglophone south -- suggested the province is divided along regional and linguistic lines.

But he said people should not be taken in by those apparent divisions.

"What binds us together is greater than what drives us apart ... We're all New Brunswickers."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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