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Re-elected New Brunswick ministers to play key role in cabinet: professor

A political scientist expects at least two re-elected Liberal MPs in New Brunswick to continue to play an important role in Justin Trudeau's cabinet.
A political scientist expects at least two re-elected Liberal MPs in New Brunswick to continue to play an important role in Justin Trudeau's cabinet. Callum Smith / Global News

Two New Brunswick Liberals who were part of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet when Parliament dissolved prior to the election are heading back to Ottawa.

Despite the federal Liberals losing four-of-10 seats in New Brunswick, two prominent cabinet ministers have been re-elected.

One political scientist expects Ginette Petipas Taylor and Dominic LeBlanc to have a key role and an important local voice with a minority government at the helm.

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Petipas Taylor beat Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe Conservative candidate Sylvie Godin-Charest by about 10,000 votes to earn a second term, while Dominic LeBlanc, a veteran MP in Beauséjour beat Green Party candidate also by about 10,000 votes.

Roger Ouellette, a political scientist at Université de Moncton, says it’s important to have local representation, especially with a minority government.

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“It’s really important for a small province like New Brunswick to be around the table of the cabinet, and since we have a minority government, it’s a good thing also, because we only have 10 seats in New Brunswick, but in a minority government, the seats are really important.”

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And with the Liberals losing all Alberta seats and Ralph Goodale losing the only Liberal seat in Saskatchewan, Ouellette says he expects the local MPs to continue to play key roles as ministers depending on LeBlanc’s health.

“We have to wait for the new cabinet but for sure, Madame Petipas (Taylor), I think she will be another strong minister of the cabinet,” he tells Global News.

“(LeBlanc) is really close to Mr. Trudeau, he’s a friend, and he was a strong minister and MP, so we have to see what’s going on with (his health).”

Roger Ouellette, a political scientist at Université de Moncton, says it’s important to have local representation, especially with a minority government
Roger Ouellette, a political scientist at Université de Moncton, says it’s important to have local representation, especially with a minority government. Callum Smith / Global News

LeBlanc wasn’t able to take part in the election campaign as he recovers in Montreal hospital following a bone marrow transplant as part of his cancer treatment.

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Meanwhile, there was a mixed reaction from Moncton residents to the two Liberals heading back to the nation’s capital.

“Overall, I’m not in favour,” says Dylon Caissie.

“I am thrilled,” says Susan Condran. “I think that they are going to continue to build the momentum that they’re building.”

In his first press conference following Monday’s election, Justin Trudeau told reporters Wednesday that a new cabinet will be sworn-in November 20.