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Bernard Lord’s re-election bid

The Story

It's the issue that won't die: auto insurance. Rates have jumped in New Brunswick, and voters are angry. Early in the 2003 election campaign, Premier Bernard Lord promised a government review of insurance premiums and nothing more. But the opposition leaders refused to let the issue go, and neither did voters. Suddenly, Lord reversed his position and, according to CBC Radio's The House, has pledged to pass a new law requiring affordable basic auto insurance. 

Medium: Radio
Program: The House
Broadcast Date: June 7, 2003
Host: Anthony Germain
Reporter: Jacques Poitras
Duration: 5:16

Did You know?

• Bernard Lord and the Progressive Conservatives barely maintained their majority in the election of June 9, 2003. Their seat count was diminished to 28 (from 44), while the Liberals won 26 seats and the NDP won one.
• "To the people of New Brunswick I say clearly I hear your message and I accept your challenge," Lord said on election night. "There's an old saying that says what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Well, we're going to be a lot stronger."

• "We promised New Brunswickers a race and we sure delivered tonight," said Liberal leader Shawn Graham on election night, which fell during the Stanley Cup playoffs. "And to all the hockey fans, we delivered a Game 7 that has been more exciting than anyone has seen in election history in a long time."

• On July 1, 2003, Lord's government passed a new law that put a cap of $2,500 on insurance payouts for minor personal injuries.
• In January 2004, the private insurance industry in New Brunswick introduced a five-point plan to contain insurance rates. Among the proposals was a no-frills package similar to that pledged by Bernard Lord.

• Rising auto insurance rates became an issue in two other provincial elections in 2003. In Nova Scotia, both the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives promised to limit payouts, while the NDP campaigned for a public insurance system.
• In Ontario, the new Liberal government under Dalton McGuinty placed a freeze on premiums and pledged legislation that would lower rates for drivers.

• New Brunswick NDP leader Elizabeth Weir resigned in late 2005. She had been named president and CEO of the province's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency. The party elected Allison Brewer as its new leader.

• Facing a minority government after the imminent departure of one of his MLAs for the private sector, Lord called an election in August 2006, to be held on Sept. 18. At dissolution, the Progressive Conservatives held 28 seats, the Liberals had 26, and there was one independent member. The NDP held no seats.


N.B. Elections: Colourful Characters, Pivotal Points more