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New Brunswick Liberals choose new executive at virtual biennial meeting

Click to play video 'New Brunswick Liberal’s look for fresh start after disappointing 2020 election' New Brunswick Liberal’s look for fresh start after disappointing 2020 election
WATCH: The New Brunswick Liberal Party is slowly rebuilding. Over the weekend they selected a new executive team. As Silas Brown reports, it’s the first step towards rejuvenating the party after a disappointing election in 2020 – Jan 25, 2021

The New Brunswick Liberal party chose a new executive Saturday but has yet to decide when to name a new leader.

Former federal member of parliament and Moncton, N.B., mayor Brian Murphy was elected the new party president as 1,100 members took part in a virtual biennial meeting Saturday afternoon.

Murphy said the party did well in francophone ridings during the last provincial election, but didn’t make the same inroads in anglophone areas.

“Looking inwardly, we don’t have representation in southern and western New Brunswick. we only have one MLA in three of the largest cities, so we have some work to do,” Murphy said in an interview following the meeting.

Read more: N.B. opposition questions lack of targets in Climate Change Action Plan progress report

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He said the party needs to improve organization, policy and unity.

“We have to look within ourselves and to the future and get some policy,” he said. “Our held ridings are in the north in the francophone part of the province and we want to change that.”

Murphy said the party will look to a number of methods, including social media, to get its message out to attract young voters.

“We’ve got to reach voters where they are,” he said. “We have to modernize the way we send our message, not our message. Our message is we are a party of inclusion. We are a party of acceptance.”

Click to play video 'Decision New Brunswick: Liberal leader Kevin Vickers resigns after losing seat in Miramichi' Decision New Brunswick: Liberal leader Kevin Vickers resigns after losing seat in Miramichi
Decision New Brunswick: Liberal leader Kevin Vickers resigns after losing seat in Miramichi – Sep 14, 2020

The party has not set a date for a leadership convention to replace Kevin Vickers, who quit after failing to win a seat in last year’s provincial election.

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Currently Premier Blain Higgs’ Progressive Conservatives have a majority in the legislature with 27 seats, while the Liberals have 17, the Greens have three and there are two members from the People’s Alliance.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021.