The Select Committee on Climate Change, an all-party committee of the Legislative Assembly chaired by MLA Andrew Harvey, was appointed by the House on April 8, 2016. The Committee was charged with conducting public consultations on the issue of climate change and reporting to the House with recommendations.
In June, the Committee issued an invitation to all New Brunswickers to participate in public hearings and submit written briefs. During August and September, public hearings took place throughout the province including First Nations communities. The Committee heard from over 150 presenters and received over 40 written submissions from interested New Brunswickers. The Committee also received briefings from notable experts and government departments.
The Committee released its final report on October 24. Based on the Committee's public engagement efforts and subsequent deliberations, the Committee made 85 recommendations under six themes: Responding to Climate Change: General Principles; Government Leadership; Economic Opportunities; Adaptation: Responding to the Impacts and Risks of Climate Change; Mitigation: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy; and Funding for Climate Change Initiatives.
Leader of the Official Opposition
On October 22, the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick held its leadership convention. MLA Blaine Higgs won the leadership against six other candidates in a three-ballot race. Higgs was first elected in the general election of 2010 and served as Minister of Finance. He was re-elected in 2014 as the Member for Quispamsis. Higgs will replace MLA Bruce Fitch as the Leader of the Official Opposition; Fitch has served in this capacity since the 2014 general election.
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by MLA Trevor Holder, met with representatives of the CCAF-FCVI Inc. in September. The CCAF held a workshop with members of the Committee; subjects included performance audits, oversight,...