Statement on Premier Gallant’s concussion

July 13th, 2017

Our overall understanding of head-injury related mental health issues continues to evolve. The Premier recently publicized that on May 3rd he suffered a concussive blow to the head and that the effects of this injury have impacted his ability to perform his duties. I join all New Brunswickers in wishing the Premier a full recovery.

There are some rational, reasonable questions that must be answered and it is the duty of the opposition to bring them forward.

Political scientist Dr. Tom Bateman told CTV News that “Any kind of condition that an elected official has that may affect the discharge of his or her responsibilities I think does become relevant.”

We agree with Dr. Bateman and it is in that spirit that we will be asking questions.

Deputy Minister Stephen Horsman told media that he knew nothing about the Premier’s concussion until asked about it on July 11th.

Regulation 82-238 under the Executive Council Act called ‘Designation’ that allows for the Premier as a result of illness or absence to designate any member of the Executive Council to fill in for him.  Any designation under this regulation is to be filed with the Clerk of the Executive Council.

The obvious question is: Was any designation filed and if so, who did the Premier designate?

Social media users can visit the Premier’s Twitter feed, examine some history and see marked changes in activity particularly in the latter part of June and beginning of July. This leads to the question of whether the Premier was incapacitated at any time over the last 2 months and if so, in his absence who led the decision making of Cabinet.

It is fair and reasonable to ask for a list of decisions that were made by Cabinet in the last 2 months and if any were made in the absence of the Premier.

In closing, as in opening, I will join all New Brunswickers in wishing Premier Gallant a full recovery from his injury.

 

Blaine Higgs

 

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