The controversial appointment of Margaret-Ann Blaney as head of Efficiency New Brunswick continued to raise eyebrows in the Legislature Thursday when the Liberals questioned whether the job was even vacant.
Blaney made the surprise announcement Wednesday that she was leaving politics for the six-figure job as president and chief executive officer of Efficiency New Brunswick.
But in the Legislature, Opposition Leader Victor Boudreau accused the Progressive Conservatives of appointing Blaney to a job that was just filled.
"The deal certainly is bitter for New Brunswickers but very sweet for Margaret-Ann Blaney," he said.
Nearly three months ago, the province sent out a news release saying that the agency was folding into the Department of Environment and Denis Caron, the deputy minister of Environment and Local Government was named its president.
In the release, Premier David Alward said the restructuring would "reduce the number of deputy minister level positions across the government by five to 23."
In the legislature, Alward acknowledged that Blaney’s appointment brings the number of deputy ministers to 24. But he repeatedly defended the move.
"The experience, the background, the years of public service, the spirit, the voice will serve Margaret-Ann Blaney outstanding in her work as CEO and President of Efficiency NB," he said.
Alward gave no indication in March that Caron’s appointment would be temporary. The Liberals said that is added proof that the job wasn’t vacant.