The Alward government will adopt two bills proposed by the NDP to curb patronage in government appointments, Deputy Premier Paul Robichaud announced on Wednesday.
NDP Leader Dominic Cardy had suggested MLAs should have to wait one year before they could be appointed to a government position.
He also called for the president and chief executive officer of NB Liquor to be appointed by the Crown agency, not by the government.
"It shouldn't matter what side of the aisle you’re on, it should matter what you’re doing for the people of New Brunswick," said Cardy.
"So I’m very happy to be here with Monsieur Robichaud, again noting the fact that it was reflected in their 2010 platform— the making sure that the president of NB Liquor was appointed based on merit — but recognizing that this is a significant shift and I hope it’s the first of many," he said.
The NDP does not have a seat in the legislature, so Cardy could not introduce the proposed legislation on his own.
He had called on the premier or Liberal Leader Brian Gallant to choose an MLA to bring the anti-patronage bills forward.
Robichaud says the government will introduce the legislation this year and could even tweak the bills to strengthen them.
"Maybe we'll go even further than what Mr. Cardy is suggesting," he said. "Why only NB Liquor? Why not all the Crown corporations?"
Last week, Liberal House Leader Bill Fraser said his party might be willing to work with Cardy on the issue.
Last May, then-energy minister Margaret-Ann Blaney resigned and was appointed the president of Efficiency New Brunswick, with an estimated salary and benefits of $200,000.
The high-paying position was never posted.
Premier David Alward appointed his election campaign co-chair Daniel Allain president and CEO of NB Liquor in October 2010.