New Brunswick

Brian Gallant shuffles cabinet 4 months before election

Less than four months before the launch of the provincial election campaign, Liberal Premier Brian Gallant has shuffled several of his cabinet ministers.

Liberal member facing 'star' Progressive Conservative in September gets promotion to cabinet

Premier Brian Gallant announced changes in his cabinet on Friday, spreading around the responsibilities of Serge Rousselle, who has decided not to run again for the Liberals in the fall. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Less than four months before the launch of the provincial election campaign, Liberal Premier Brian Gallant has shuffled several of his cabinet ministers.

Shippagan-Lameque-Miscou MLA Wilfred Roussel joins the cabinet as minister of agriculture, mines and rural affairs, a promotion that comes as Roussel prepares to run against a star Progressive Conservative candidate.

Roussel won the riding by only 44 votes in the last election. The PCs have recruited Robert Gauvin, an actor and the son of popular former MLA Jean Gauvin, as their candidate.

The shuffle was required after cabinet minister Serge Rousselle announced in March he would not run in the Sept. 24 election.

Wilfred Roussel, the MLA for Shippagan-Lameque-Miscou joins the cabinet as minister of agriculture, mines and rural affairs. (New Brunswick Legislature)

Last year, Gallant shuffled out all of his MLAs who were not reoffering to make room for new ministers. But at that point Rousselle hadn't decided yet that he would leave politics.

Wilfred Roussel takes over the agriculture, mines and rural affairs position from Carleton-Victoria MLA Andy Harvey.

Harvey inherits Serge Rousselle's portfolio of environment and local government.

Health Minister Benoît Bourque will be responsible for Service New Brunswick. (Ben Silcox/CBC)

Meanwhile, Health Minister Benoît Bourque also becomes minister responsible for Service New Brunswick, another of Serge Rousselle's duties.

Premier Brian Gallant, the only other lawyer in the Liberal caucus besides Rousselle, will be attorney-general.

Economic Development Minister Francine Landry takes over from Serge Rousselle as regional minister for northern New Brunswick.