New Brunswick

PC government holds firm on vow to fight Ottawa's carbon tax

Priorities include fighting Ottawa's carbon tax and finding a solution to Ambulance NB problems.

'We want to understand completely the situation as it is being proposed by the federal government'

Blaine Higgs held his first cabinet meeting on Saturday in Fredericton. (Lauren Bird/CBC)

New Brunswick's new Progressive Conservative government held its first cabinet meeting Saturday morning in Fredericton.

Premier Blaine Higgs laid out his priorities after the meeting, which include fighting Ottawa's carbon tax, bringing back the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act and finding a solution to the problems facing Ambulance New Brunswick.

Higgs met recently with Dominic LeBlanc the federal minister of intergovernmental affairs, to discuss the carbon tax.

"We have a federal officials coming here next week to give us a presentation, a presentation that we will also invite others to to attend," Higgs said. "But the idea is that we want to understand completely the situation as it is being proposed by the federal government."

Meeting with Ford in December

He added that he plans to fight the carbon tax and has already spoken to Ontario Premier Doug Ford about how to do that. He said he and Ford plan to meet the first week of December.

Higgs said his government, along with the People's Alliance Party, have already met with Ambulance New Brunswick.

"They showed us several areas that they can make improvements while fully meeting the language requirements at that exist today," he said.

Higgs first brought in the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act when he was finance minister in the Alward government. But Brian Gallant's Liberal government repealed it.

'We're not seeing the salmon return'

Higgs also said he wants to see the "ball moving" on initiatives by Collaboration for Atlantic Salmon Tomorrow to release mature salmon back into the Miramichi River.

"We have to do something, our rivers are in trouble," Higgs said. "We're not seeing the salmon return and so we just can't do nothing and hope it's going to get better."

CAST is an Atlantic salmon conservation organization controlled by J.D. Irving Limited.

Higgs became the province's 34th premier Friday. He appointed 16 members to cabinet.

About the Author

Lauren Bird is a journalist at CBC New Brunswick. You can contact her at