New Brunswick Premier David Alward appointed Tory faithful to key deputy minister posts Thursday, reversing a vow to change the way in which appointments are made by the provincial government.
The appointments include Daniel Allain to the key position of president and chief executive officer of NB Liquor. Dana Clendenning, the Liberal-appointed president of the Crown corporation, left his position last week with a taxpayer-funded severance package.
Previous premiers Shawn Graham and Bernard Lord both selected party loyalists for the job, which pays between $150,000 and $175,000 per year.
The newly elected premier also named:
- Dallas McCready, Alward's chief of staff, to deputy minister responsible for strategic initiatives, executive council office.
- Darell Fowlie, deputy minister responsible for communications within the premier's office.
- Greg Lutes, secretary to cabinet's policy and priorities committee.
"I am pleased to appoint these four talented and experienced individuals to assist our government as we work to implement our mandate," Alward said in a release. "We have a number of challenges before us as we work to put in place our platform commitments and I have full confidence in their abilities and counsel."
The appointment of the political party faithful comes after Alward said in an interview that he would do things differently than previous premiers when it comes to making high-profile selections.
"I believe the appointments we'll be making will demonstrate a desire to do things differently as we go forward," he said earlier.
Liberal MLA Victor Boudreau immediately seized on the Allain appointment and criticized the premier for promising to do politics differently during the campaign and then acting differently when in office.
"As far as I'm concerned, within 48 hours of becoming premier, Alward has already broken his 'contract' with New Brunswickers and his first promise," Boudreau said in an email.
"He campaigned on doing things differently and gave his word that he would, then said his word was as good as a contract."
Along with being one of Alward's campaign co-chairs, Allain served as an executive assistant to former premier Bernard Lord and he ran unsuccessfully in the riding of Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe for the federal Conservatives in the 2008 election.
Boudreau said Allain's selection to the Crown corporation should be viewed differently because of Alward's commitments during the election campaign.
"The difference with Allain is that Alward and his caucus spent four years saying it was wrong and that they would never do that. Then they did just that," Boudreau said.
Alward was forced to appoint several deputy minister-level positions, which were vacated by Liberal appointees after the Sept. 27 election.