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New Brunswick Greens and People’s Alliance to receive official party status

Click to play video 'Blaine Higgs talks the future of New Brunswick after securing majority government' Blaine Higgs talks the future of New Brunswick after securing majority government
Blaine Higgs speaks with Global News at 6 anchor Sarah Ritchie about his plans after securing a majority government in Monday's election – Sep 15, 2020

Two of the parties in the New Brunswick legislature will keep their official party status.

Premier Blaine Higgs, whose PC Party formed a majority government in last month’s election, will recommend that the Green Party of New Brunswick and the People’s Alliance of New Brunswick be granted third-party status in the legislature.

Read more: New Brunswick PCs form majority government as Liberal leader Kevin Vickers steps down

Higgs can’t unilaterally make the decision but his recommendation to the Legislative Administration Committee, which will have a PC majority, makes it all but certain.

David Coon, MLA and leader of the New Brunswick Green Party, reacts to the budget delivered by New Brunswick Finance Minister Ernie Steeves in Fredericton, N.B., on Tuesday March 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Stephen MacGillivray
David Coon, MLA and leader of the New Brunswick Green Party, reacts to the budget delivered by New Brunswick Finance Minister Ernie Steeves in Fredericton, N.B., on Tuesday March 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Stephen MacGillivray. The Canadian Press/Stephen MacGillivray

Under the legislature’s standing rules, a party must win five seats or 20 per cent of the vote to be recognized as an official party.

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The Greens and the People’s Alliance both fell short of those thresholds, winning three seats and two seats, respectively.

Click to play video 'N.B. premier Higgs says time spent serving the province about ‘building a better tomorrow’' N.B. premier Higgs says time spent serving the province about ‘building a better tomorrow’
N.B. premier Higgs says time spent serving the province about ‘building a better tomorrow’ – Sep 29, 2020

The recommendation from Higgs will continue a rule created two years ago during a minority government that saw MLAs grant an exemption for both parties.

In a statement to Global News, Higgs said that he made the decision to offer a unified response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin participates in the CBC televised debate of the provincial election in Riverview, N.B. on Wednesday. September 12, 2018.
People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin participates in the CBC televised debate of the provincial election in Riverview, N.B. on Wednesday. September 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison

“I am cognizant of the role each party has played in managing the pandemic thus far and I value their contribution,” Higgs wrote.

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“I think now it is more important than ever to work together to map out New Brunswick’s post-Covid-19 future.”

Read more: Blaine Higgs sets record for most women in N.B. cabinet despite missing gender parity target