New Brunswick New Democratic Party

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New Brunswick New Democratic Party
Nouveau Parti démocratique du Nouveau-Brunswick
Active provincial party
Leader Rosaire L'Italien (interim)
President Michel Boudreau
Founded 1933 as the New Brunswick branch of the CCF, renamed New Brunswick NDP in 1962
Headquarters 924 Prospect Street, Suite 2
Fredericton, New Brunswick
E3B 2T9
Ideology Social democracy
Political position Centre-left
National affiliation New Democratic Party
Colours Orange
Seats in Legislature
0 / 49

The New Brunswick New Democratic Party (French: Nouveau Parti démocratique du Nouveau-Brunswick) is a social-democratic provincial political party in New Brunswick, Canada linked with the federal New Democratic Party (NDP).

Origins and early history[edit]

The New Brunswick NDP traces its roots to the Fredericton Socialist League, which was founded in 1902. The League had branches throughout the province by World War I.

In 1933, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), a social-democratic and democratic socialist federal political party, was formed with the proclamation of the Regina Manifesto. In 1933, the Moncton Trades and Labour Council adopted a resolution to create a branch of the CCF in New Brunswick. This led to the creation of the New Brunswick CCF that year.

Despite its early formation, the New Brunswick CCF was slow at establishing itself on the provincial political scene. It ran only one candidate in the 1939 election, Joseph C. Arrowsmith in the riding of Saint John City, winning 712 votes. The fortunes of the New Brunswick CCF rose in tandem with the fortunes of the national CCF during World War II. In the 1944 provincial election the CCF won 11.7 percent of the vote under the leadership of J. A. Mugridge, a trade unionist and the chief electrician at the Saint John Drydock and Shipbuilding Company. In that election, the CCF ran on a twelve-point program that included a promise public ownership and full development of all natural resources including electricity, oil and gas and other public utilities.

The 1944 election proved to be an electoral high-point for CCF in New Brunswick however. A combination of anti-CCF propaganda, the increasing adoption of somewhat progressive policies by the New Brunswick Liberals and Conservatives, and a general trend of post-war decline for the CCF nationally all contributed to weaken the New Brunswick CCF in the 1948 provincial election, this time under Arrowsmith's leadership, in which they received half the votes they won in 1944 and again won no seats. In the 1952 provincial election, the CCF ran only 12 candidates and received only 1.3% of the vote and no seats. The CCF ran no candidates in the 1956 and 1960 provincial elections.

The early NDP[edit]

In 1961, the CCF merged with the Canadian Labour Congress to form the New Democratic Party (NDP) at both federal and provincial levels. The New Brunswick NDP was formed in 1962. The party spent the remainder of the decade getting itself organized and established, including forging links with some of the labour movement. The party was not in a position to run candidates in the 1963 provincial election, and ran only three candidates in the 1967 provincial election.

In 1971, the New Brunswick NDP was taken over by The Waffle, a radical wing of the party, precipitating a bitter two-month split in the party. The federal NDP responded by temporarily dissolving the provincial NDP until non-Waffle leadership was re-established. The Waffle episode had the effect of promoting greater labour involvement in the party, via concern that the party would fall under the sway of radicals without it. During the late 1970s, under the leadership of John LaBossiere, the party increasingly adopted policy positions that reflected feminist and environmentalist concerns, namely opposition to the construction of the Point Lepreau nuclear plant. This stance soured relations with some labour supporters. The party also saw its membership grow and its organisational abilities improve during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Along with traditional social-democratic NDP policy planks, the party also began to attack government patronage and poor fiscal management. Relations with the labour movements and women's movement improved further after George Little became party leader in 1980.

Growth and challenges[edit]

During Little's time as leader, the party won its first seat ever in Tantramar in the 1982 New Brunswick election, and ran a full slate of candidates for the first time in the 1987 campaign. The period saw increasing popular support (surpassing 10% for the first time) and membership totals, numbering over 1,000 by the mid-1980s. The party failed to win any seats in 1987 due to the McKenna tidal wave, and Little resigned in 1988. He was followed by Elizabeth Weir, a lawyer and former party secretary, who won a close leadership contest against a labour activist. Weir's media presence and political stature gradually increased after becoming leader, and in the 1991 provincial election she won a seat in Saint John South, the first provincial NDP leader to do so. During her time in the legislature, Weir advanced such issues as public auto insurance, pay equity, corporate welfare and anti poverty programmes. Weir was re-elected in the new constituency of Saint John Harbour in the 1995 provincial election and won re-election twice more after, yet failed to add extra seats to the party caucus. In 2005, she resigned.

The period immediately following Weir's departure as leader was a difficult one for the party. Allison Brewer was elected as party leader in 2005, yet faced challenges due to her inability to speak French and a lack of pragmatic party policies. In the 2006 provincial election the NDP failed to run a full slate and saw their popular vote collapse. Brewer resigned soon after the election. Pat Hanratty took the helm as an interim leader, and was eventually replaced by Roger Duguay in 2007. Duguay's tenure as leader was dominated by a shakeup in the party's internal operations. Much of the old executive of the party was replaced in 2009 and a new team of modernizers began to gain prominence within the party. During the 2010 provincial election the party platform combined traditional NDP planks of progressive social policy and prioritized education and health spending with a greater emphasis on the need for fiscal prudence and balanced budgets and cutting wasteful government spending, with opposition to corporate welfare. The party more than doubled its share of the vote, yet no candidate, including Duguay, won a seat. Having failed to become an MLA, Duguay resigned as leader in November 2010.

Modernization and new growth[edit]

Following Duguay's resignation, former federal and provincial candidate Jesse Travis was appointed interim leader, and a leadership race for Duguay's replacement was scheduled for 2011. Initially two candidates entered the race: campaign director Dominic Cardy and former provincial candidate Pierre Cyr. Cyr however withdrew from the race and thus Cardy was acclaimed as party leader. Cardy embarked on a process of modernizing the party's platform and organization, bringing the party in line with modern social-democratic parties based on the Third Way model. Since Cardy became leader, the party's popularity has increased to over 20% in opinion polls.[1] At the 2012 party convention, Cardy was endorsed by 82% of the voting members in a leader review vote.[2]

The NDP received 13% of the vote in the September 22, 2014 provincial election but again failed to win a seat. Cardy announced his resignation as NDP leader effective at the next party convention which was scheduled for October 2014 but was later postponed until January 2015. Nevertheless, after facing pressure from the party to rescind his resignation and run in the Saint John East by-election on 17 November 2014 which is pending following the surprise resignation of newly elected Liberal MLA Gary Keating on 14 October 2014,[3] Cardy announced that he will stand as the NDP's candidate in the Saint John East by-election.[4] He placed third in the by-election with 21.88% of the vote.[5]

Cardy agreed to remain as leader after the party's executive rejected his resignation on 10 December 2014 and a letter was signed at the party's provincial council by supporters and former candidates urging him to stay on. The party also offered Cardy a "livable" salary beginning in 2015 due to its improved financial position. Cardy had been working as leader on a volunteer basis since assuming the position in 2011 and had no legislative salary as he is not a member of the provincial legislature.[6]

Cardy resigned both as party leader and as a party member on January 1, 2017, complaining of party infighting. In a statement, Cardy said that he "cannot lead a party where a tiny minority of well-connected members refuse to accept the democratic will of the membership." He added that "[l]imited time and energy is being wasted on infighting before the election," and that "'Some New Democrats unfortunately believe change and openness have had their time. They want to return to an old NDP of true believers, ideological litmus tests and moral victories."[7][8]


New Brunswick CCF[edit]

New Brunswick NDP[edit]

Electoral record[edit]

General election NDP
# of candidates Seats
 % of popular vote
1939 Joseph C. Arrowsmith 1
0 / 48
Steady SteadyNo standing 0.1%
1944 J. A. Mugridge 41
0 / 48
Steady SteadyNo standing 11.7%
1948 Joseph C. Arrowsmith 20
0 / 52
Steady SteadyNo standing 6.0%
1952 Claude P. Milton 12
0 / 52
Steady SteadyNo standing 1.3%
1956 None 0
0 / 52
Steady SteadyNo standing 0.0%
1960 0
0 / 52
Steady SteadyNo standing 0.0%
1963 0
0 / 52
Steady SteadyNo standing 0.0%
1967 Jack Currie 3
0 / 58
Steady SteadyNo standing 0.3%
1970 J. Albert Richardson 31
0 / 58
Steady SteadyNo standing 2.8%
1974 35
0 / 58
Steady SteadyNo standing 2.9%
1978 John LaBossiere 36
0 / 58
Steady SteadyNo standing 6.5%
1982 George Little 54
1 / 58
Increase 1 Increase 3rd 10.2%
1987 58
0 / 58
Decrease 1 Decrease no standing 10.6%
1991 Elizabeth Weir 58
1 / 58
Increase 1 Increase 4th 10.8%
1995 55
1 / 55
Steady Increase 3rd 9.7%
1999 55
1 / 55
Steady Steady 3rd 8.8%
2003 55
1 / 55
Steady Steady 3rd 9.7%
2006 Allison Brewer 48
0 / 55
Decrease 1 Decrease no standing 5.1%
2010 Roger Duguay 55
0 / 55
Steady Steady no standing 10.4%
2014 Dominic Cardy 49
0 / 49
Steady Steady no standing 13.0%
  • Results prior to 1963 are for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)

NDP members of the NB Legislative Assembly[edit]

There are currently no New Democrats in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. In the past, three separate individuals have been elected as New Democrats and they are as follows:

The NDP's predecessor, the CCF never won a seat in the New Brunswick legislature. In the 1920 general election nine United Farmers and two Farmer-Labour MLAs were elected.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Support For New Brunswick PC Government Stable, although Satisfaction Declined | Corporate Research Associates Inc | (CRA)". Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Dominic Cardy obtient la confiance des partisans du NPD". L'Acadie Nouvelle. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Dominic Cardy urged to run in Saint John East byelection". CBC News. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "N.B. NDP Leader Dominic Cardy to run in Saint John East byelection". Retrieved 18 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "Tory candidate's second try results in win in New Brunswick byelection". Thompson Citizen. Canadian Press. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Dominic Cardy will keep his job as NDP leader". CBC News. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "NDP Leader Dominic Cardy resigns amid party 'infighting' - New Brunswick". Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  8. ^ "Cardy won't rule out return to politics, jump to PCs - New Brunswick". Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  9. ^ "Canadian Parliamentary Review - Article". Retrieved 18 October 2016. 

External links[edit]