Kevin Vickers, hero of 2014 Parliament Hill attack, to discuss N.B. Liberal leadership race
Kevin Vickers, Canada’s former ambassador to Ireland, is poised to announce his candidacy in the New Brunswick Liberal leadership race.
Vickers, who came into the national spotlight after being hailed as a hero for helping to end the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill, tweeted on Wednesday that he’ll be making an announcement on Friday in Miramichi, N.B.
He has recently been travelling the province to hear from residents before announcing his decision on the leadership.
The former sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons has been dropping hints that he’s considering a move into politics.
When Vickers retired from his post as ambassador on March 2, he effectively cleared his path to run in the leadership contest.
Vickers, born and raised in Newcastle, N.B., had held the ambassador post since January 2015.
If he does run, he’ll be attempting to replace former premier Brian Gallant, who officially stepped down as leader of the New Brunswick Liberals in mid-February.
Gallant failed to form a minority government in the weeks following the Sept. 24 provincial election. He was elected Liberal leader in 2012 and won a majority government in 2014.
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A number of Liberal sources in the province have previously told Global News that they’re confident Vickers will enter the race.
Donald Wright, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick, has said that if Vickers enters the race, he will have to be clear about what he stands for.
“Kevin Vickers is going to have to say something — where he stands on some of the issues, like the carbon price, like bilingualism, like duality. He’s got a steep learning curve, and you can only ride your name so long,” Wright said.
“We have no idea where he stands on some of these issues. He’s a complete outsider to New Brunswick politics.”
Lisa Harris, the Liberal member for Miramichi Bay-Neguac, told The Canadian Press it’s a big day for the province to have Vickers considering a run for the leadership.
The New Brunswick Liberals will choose a new leader on June 22 at a convention in Saint John.
—With files from Global News’ Morganne Campbell and the Canadian Press
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