New Brunswick

N.B. Liberals to pick new leader in June

The New Brunswick Liberal Party will choose a replacement for Brian Gallant this summer.

Convention will be held seven months after former premier Brian Gallant announced he would step down

The new leader for New Brunswick's Liberal Party will be chosen seven months after former premier Brian Gallant announced he was stepping aside. (CBC)

New Brunswick's Liberal party will choose its new leader on June 22.

The new leader will be chosen seven months after former Liberal premier Brian Gallant announced he was resigning from his position as leader

The date was unanimously approved by the party's board of directors at a meeting in Fredericton Saturday, said Keiller Zed, executive director of the New Brunswick Liberal Association.

Application and rules packages will be made available the first week of February. The deadline to enter the race will be included in the package.

Four people have shown interest in the job.

Kevin Vickers, Canada's ambassador to Ireland, Susan Holt, a past Liberal candidate in Fredericton South, Rothesay MP Wayne Long and René Ephestion, the executive director of The House of Nazareth emergency shelter in Moncton, could be on the ballot.

The convention will be held at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre.

Traditionally, convention venues are alternated between New Brunswick's three big cities. Most recently, in 2012, Brian Gallant was elected Liberal leader in Moncton, and before him Shawn Graham was made leader in Fredericton in 2002.

"It was Saint John's turn this time around, but also … the party's results in the region were less than what we had hoped for, so it will definitely be an opportunity for us as a party to signify the importance of the region to the party and to the province," Zed said.

In the meantime, the Liberal caucus will select an interim leader at a caucus meeting on Feb. 12 in Fredericton. Gallant announced in December that he would move up his departure to the next caucus meeting rather than wait for a leadership convention to choose his successor.

"Conventionally, whoever is selected as interim leader would pledge to not run for the leadership," Zed said.

Anyone who would put their name forward for the interim leadership must be a current MLA.