New Brunswick

N.B. party leaders come together in time of crisis

In normal times it would seem bizarre that the legislature's four political parties could come together and actually agree on anything, but these aren't normal times.

In this week's Political Panel, leaders discuss province's response to COVID-19

Premier Blaine Higgs placed the province under a state of emergency Thursday. (Submitted by Government of New Brunswick )

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In normal times it would seem bizarre that the legislature's four political parties could come together and actually agree, but these aren't normal times.

On this week's Political Panel, leaders from all four parties represented in the legislature talked about the shared response to COVID-19.

On Thursday Premier Blaine Higgs announced the province would be placed under a state of emergency.

This means the province now has the power to order businesses to close and keep people from congregating.

Higgs said the decision was made when questions were raised about how seriously New Brunswickers were taking the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're seeing people still congregating, we're seeing people still going shopping," said Higgs.

There are seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick and four presumptive cases, the chief medical officer of health announced Thursday. (Photo: CBC News)

"It's like, all right, is this panic buying…or is this like 'are people taking this seriously'?"

Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers, a man who less than a month ago swore to do all he could to bring down the Higgs government, praised the premier for his response to the pandemic.

"Kudos to Premier Higgs and his leadership on this," said Vickers.

All leaders are part of a committee on the COVID-19 response, which has led to some "robust" discussions according to Green Party Leader David Coon.

"I think it's really important that citizens in the province understand that this committee is extremely engaged, very lively," said Coon. 

"There's no shrinking violets on that committee."

Green Party Leader David Coon said the all-party committee on COVID-19 has had some robust discussions over the last week. (Jacques Poitras/CBC)

People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin said having all parties at the table means the best ideas are put forward.

"It really does give different angles which, you know, gives a greater opportunity to get this right," said Austin.

Higgs commended his fellow party leaders on their leadership.

"I think [it's] been a great testament of what's possible in times of crisis," said Higgs.


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