FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s premier-designate says he will have five fewer cabinet ministers than his predecessor, a move he says is intended to show that his government recognizes the need to cut costs.
Brian Gallant said his cabinet will have 13 members including himself when they are sworn in on Tuesday.
“We’re going to be asking New Brunswickers over the next few years to make some difficult decisions with us,” Gallant said Monday.
“We think we have to be leading by example and that starts at the very top, even with how many cabinet ministers will be in the government.”
Gallant couldn’t say how much money would be saved.
There were 18 people who were at the cabinet table including David Alward in the departing Progressive Conservative government. Gallant said his will be the smallest cabinet since that under former premier Louis Robichaud in 1965.
The Liberals were elected last month with 27 members while the Progressive Conservatives took 21 seats. Green Leader David Coon was also elected.
Gallant said choosing his cabinet was difficult because he looked beyond considerations including geography and language.
“We want some that could be professors, some that could be business people, some that have been in politics for a long time and some that have never been in politics,” he said.
Gallant said his ministers will be evaluated after 18 to 24 months to determine whether the cabinet should change in size and whether some portfolios should be changed.
He said while there will be fewer cabinet ministers, the number of departments will stay the same until it is determined where it makes sense to merge operations.