Premier David Alward's Progressive Conservative government is courting trouble unless it halts the growing numbers of patronage appointments, according to a political scientist.


Robert MacLeod raises David Alward's hand after he won the PC leadership race in 2008. Alward appointed MacLeod to lead a new economic development agency in January. ((CBC))

It's been a steady parade of Progressive Conservatives getting provincial government appointments since the Alward government took power last fall.

Don Desserud, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, said the Tories should put a halt to all the patronage appointments.

"In terms of the public's expectations this is not exactly what they thought was going to happen and therefore there is going to be disappointment," Desserud said.

When the Tories were on the opposition benches, Alward and his senior MLAs hammered the Liberals for their patronage appointments.

But the Alward government has not backed away from the trend.

Robert MacLeod and Daniel Allain were Alward's campaign co-chairman during the successful election campaign.

MacLeod is now the chief executive officer of InvestNB, a provincial economic development agency, and Allain is the president of NB Liquor.


Premier David Alward appointed Daniel Allain to the position of president and chief executive officer of NB Liquor. (CBC)

There have been a series of other appointments, such as Rene Basque, a law partner of PC Party President Ron Goguen, and Basile Chiasson, a Bathurst lawyer close to Nancy McKay, who is Alward's chief of staff.

Basque and Chiasson are now public interveners hired by the Department of Justice.

Yassin Choukri, a former Bernard Lord advisor, was given another public intervener appointment last fall.

Michel Leger, another Alward advisor, was named as the head of the government's insurance committee.

But Desserud, who Alward has picked to review ways to get unelected parties more involved in the legislative assembly, said the Tories have not been different than the Liberals when it comes to appointing loyalists to government jobs.

Desserud said that's part of the reason why more people don't like politics.

"This is one of the reasons. The public does see that political parties say what they need to say to get elected and then turn around and do the exact opposite," Desserud said.

The Alward government defends all of its appointments as good ones and has shown no sign of changing course.