New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy resigning from cabinet role

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Dominic Cardy resigns as N.B. education minister after sending scathing letter to premier
WATCH: Dominic Cardy has resigned as Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development in New Brunswick. He announced he was quitting in a tweet, after sending a scathing resignation letter to Premier Blaine Higgs. Silas Brown reports. – Oct 13, 2022

New Brunswick’s Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Dominic Cardy says he is resigning from his position.

“I have submitted my resignation to Premier Higgs,” he said in a Thursday morning tweet.

“I look forward to continuing as PC member for Fredericton West-Hanwell. At some point, working style and values have to matter.”

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In a letter to Premier Blaine Higgs, which was obtained by Global News, Cardy said his resignation is due to his “values and working styles increasingly diverging” from that of the premier.

Cardy said Higgs had promised to make evidence-based decisions for the education system in the party’s election campaigns, but had not delivered on that promise.

Read more: New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy resigning from cabinet role

He said there has been recent pressure on the education department to abolish French Immersion by September 2023, which placed “huge stress on the education system and (would) damage the education of our province’s anglophone young people.”

Cardy said the French second-language education system needs changes, but because of Higgs, they have not been successful.

“You cannot change deadlines on large systems based on your emotional state, without undermining the quality of the work, or the morale of your team. I have worked tirelessly to prepare our system for changes. Many are accomplished, but some will stall because of your micromanagement,” he wrote.

Furthermore, Cardy’s letter read, in part:

“Your behaviour at a recent meeting, where you refused to even read evidence you had specifically requested, instead choosing to yell “Data my ass” at a senior civil servant because you didn’t like what the data showed you; well, that was the end of your political project in my eyes: If you reject evidence because you dislike it then you don’t believe in evidence.”

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Cardy added that civil service has seen a large turnover in recent years in absence of a respectful work environment. “Too many good people have left on bad terms, on your watch,” he wrote.

He also called the treatment of minority linguistic and cultural communities “embarrassing,” saying there was a strong opportunity to celebrate a strong francophone culture, while pursuing reconciliation with First Nations.

“The endless excuses over replying to the report of on the Official Languages Act are embarrassing for a government elected on promises of action and unity,” Cardy wrote.

Global News has reached out to the office of Premier Higgs for comment on the resignation and allegations made.

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Cardy was first sworn in as Minister of Education in 2018, when he was elected as the Progressive Conservative MLA for the constituency of Fredericton West-Hanwell. He was re-elected and continued his position in 2020.

Before this, he worked as Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition, and was also the leader of the New Brunswick New Democratic Party from 2011-2016, before crossing the floor.

Cabinet shuffle

The Higgs government later announced Thursday a cabinet shuffle.

Bill Hogan is now replacing Cardy as Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Kris Austin has been named the new Public Safety Minister, replacing Hogan.

Jill Green has been moved from Transportation and Infrastructure to Service New Brunswick, replacing Mary Wilson. Green has also become the Minister Responsible for Housing.

Jeff Carr will replace Green in Transportation and Infrastructure.

Rejean Savoie is the new Minister Responsible for the Regional Development Corporation, replacing Gary Crossman.

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Cardy’s announcement was the second of the day in New Brunswick politics.

On Thursday morning, Liberal interim leader Roger Melanson announced his resignation from politics effective Friday, Oct. 21.

Melanson was re-elected to represent the riding of Dieppe. He also serves as the Official Opposition critic for the Executive Council, Office of the Premier and Intergovernmental Affairs in legislature.

His career in politics began in 2010 when he was first elected MLA for the Dieppe-Centre-Lewisville riding. In 2014, he served as minister of finance and minister of transportation and infrastructure. In 2017, he was appointed as the minister of post-secondary education and minister responsible for aboriginal affairs.

— More to come.

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