N.B. government faces backlog without new lieutenant-governor

Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick Jocelyne Roy Vienneau delivers the Throne Speech at the New Brunswick Legislature in Fredericton, N.B., on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/James West

A delay by the federal government in appointing a new lieutenant-governor for New Brunswick is creating a logjam of unfinished business for the provincial government.

Lt.-Gov. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau, the first Acadian woman to hold the office, died Aug. 2 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

READ MORE: Funeral for New Brunswick Lt.-Gov. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau held Thursday

Important government business, including providing royal assent to bills, can’t be completed until the lieutenant governor signs an order-in-council.

New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says the delay is holding up some business.

“We have orders-in-council that we aren’t able to pass through the system because they have to be approved by the (lieutenant-governor). We have a bit of a backlog. Some of them are more time sensitive than others,” Higgs said Thursday.

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“At this point I would say we’re managing the sensitivity in time … but the longer this goes on, the more of a backlog we get, and the more time constraints become a challenge.”

WATCH: N.B. RCMP investigating ‘financial irregularities’ in Lt.-Gov’s office

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N.B. RCMP investigating ‘financial irregularities’ in Lt.-Gov’s office – Aug 22, 2019

Lieutenant-governors are appointed by the prime minister, but a spokesperson for his office said Thursday that there was nothing to announce yet.

When Saskatchewan Lt.-Gov. Thomas Molloy died in July, Russell Mirasty was appointed as a replacement just 15 days later.

READ MORE: N.B. lieutenant-governor Jocelyne Roy Vienneau dies after battle with cancer

Roy Vienneau was appointed by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2014.

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Lieutenant-governors usually serve for a term of at least five years.

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