New Brunswick

What's in a name? PC fundraising letter asks donors to support Premier 'Brian Higgs'

A fundraising letter sent out by New Brunswick Progressive Conservatives this week asked donors to show their support for Premier "Brian Higgs" a mistake the party could not immediately explain.

No one from the party could explain why Higgs's name was typed out as 'Brian' instead of Blaine

A fundraising letter sent out by New Brunswick Progressive Conservatives this week, addressed the premier as "Brian" Higgs instead of Blaine Higgs. ( Joe McDonald/CBC)

A fundraising letter sent out by New Brunswick Progressive Conservatives this week asked donors to show their support for Premier "Brian Higgs," a mistake the party could not immediately explain.

"We don't know when the next election will be. That's why we need to start preparing now," reads the emailed letter which is addressed generically to "Friend" and asks for a $25 contribution.

"We want to make sure that we're ready to tell New Brunswickers about the hard work Brian Higgs and the New Brunswick PCs are doing."

A French version of the same letter correctly refers to the premier as Blaine Higgs.

Executive director Rick LaFrance who oversees fundraising was away from party headquarters Thursday and his office said it was unsure if he could be reached.  

No one from the New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Party was available to explain how the spelling error occurred. (Robert Jones/CBC)

New Brunswick's former premier was named Brian, Premier Brian Gallant, but it is not clear if the PCs conflated the two men or if the mistake was a naming error, spelling error or a simple typo.  All three have long histories in New Brunswick public life.  

Place name spelled wrong

People's Alliance Fredericton South candidate Bonnie Clark had about 38 signs that misspelled Fredericton during last year's provincial election. She said it was an error with the printing company who is accepting fault. (Jon Collicott/CBC)

Last fall People's Alliance candidate Bonnie Clark made news when her campaign signs spelled Fredericton without an "i".

At the time local PC candidate Scott Smith expressed amazement that an error like that could be allowed to happen.

"If you're going to put up signs all around the city you might want to make sure it's spelled right," he said.

Green Party Leader David Coon eventually won that seat.

Misspelled city, province

At the 2017 Memorial Cup, merchandise featured the 'St. John Sea Dogs,' instead of the Saint John Sea Dogs. (Jamie Tozer)

In 2017, Saint John's regularly misspelled name set off a kerfuffle in Windsor when merchandise for sale at the Memorial Cup featured the "St. John Sea Dogs," instead of the Saint John Sea Dogs. The merchandise had to be pulled from shelves.

Team booster Jaime Tozer called the error a "lack of respect and lack of knowledge."

New Brunswick was misspelled on the Centennial Cup when the province's team received the award at the Canada Games in 2015. (Ed Hunter/CBC)
And in 2015, New Brunswick's Canada Games delegation was awarded the Centennial Cup as most improved team, an honour then scratched by an engraver who carved "New Brunswich" into the trophy.

New Brunswick PC's have been fundraising extensively for the last year and a half. In some cases it has been using out of province firms to identify and reach supporters although it is not known if that outsourcing played any role in the Blaine/Brian mixup.


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