Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick
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|Active provincial party|
|Secretary||Lyne St. Pierre-Ellis|
|Headquarters||Fredericton, New Brunswick|
|Youth wing||PC Youth|
|Ideology||Progressive conservatism, Red Toryism|
|Colours||Blue, Red, Yellow|
|Seats in Legislature||
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The Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick is a centre-right, conservative political party in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. The party has its origins in the pre-Canadian confederation Conservative Party that opposed the granting of responsible government to the colony. It has historically followed the Red Tory tradition. The Progressive Conservative Party was last in provincial government between 2010 and 2014 under the leadership of David Alward.
Initially, Conservative supporters tended to be United Empire Loyalists and supporters of the business community. In the 1860s, both the Conservative and Liberal parties split over the issue of Canadian confederation, and were replaced by the Confederation Party and the Anti-Confederation Party. By 1870, the pro-Confederation party became generally known as the Liberal-Conservatives or just "Conservatives", and were aligned with the national Conservative Party of Sir John A. Macdonald.
The party was aligned with the historic federal Conservative party. When the federal party changed its name to the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 1942, the New Brunswick party did the same. The federal Progressive Conservative Party dissolved in 2003, in order to merge with the Canadian Alliance and a new Conservative Party of Canada was created. The provincial party has no formal link with the current federal Conservative Party, but several of its members and elected MLAs, including former premier Premier Lord, publicly endorsed the federal party and in some cases its candidates in the 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015 federal elections.
Following the change of government in 2006 provincial election, Bernard Lord resigned as leader on December 13, 2006 and as the member of Moncton East. On December 19, Jeannot Volpé, MLA for Madawaska les Lacs-Edmundston, was selected as interim leader. On October 18, 2008, David Alward, MLA for Carleton, was elected leader of the party at the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick Leadership Convention in Fredericton. Alward beat his only opponent, Robert MacLeod, by a margin of 2,269 votes to 1,760.
The Progressive Conservatives won a sweeping majority, with 42 of 55 seats in the 2010 provincial election. In doing so, PC party leader David Alward became the 32nd Premier of New Brunswick. His government was defeated after one term in the 2014 provincial election, after which Alward announced his resignation as party leader — On October 18, 2014, Bruce Fitch was selected as interim leader of the party and Leader of the Opposition of New Brunswick. The next Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick leadership election was held on October 22, 2016, which elected Blaine Higgs as the new leader of the party and will be sworn in as Leader of the Opposition of New Brunswick.
Ideology and electoral base
For most of New Brunswick's history, the party had greater support among English speakers, while the Liberals were more popular among Acadians. However, initiatives by the governments of Richard Hatfield and Bernard Lord to include Acadians in the mainstream of New Brunswick life helped the party make inroads in Acadia. In fact, even though he was born in Quebec, former Premier Bernard Lord is widely perceived to be an Acadian, due to his Francophone heritage and the fact that he was raised in Moncton where he attended French language schools and university.
Current members of the legislature
- Peter Mitchell (1866-1867)
- Andrew R. Wetmore (1867-1870)
- George Edwin King (1870-1871)
- George L. Hathaway (1871-1872)
- George Edwin King (1872-1878)
- John James Fraser (1878-1882)
- Daniel L. Hanington (1882-1892)
- Alfred Augustus Stockton (1892-1899)
- John Douglas Hazen (1899-1911)
- James Kidd Flemming (1911-1914)
- George Johnson Clarke (1914-1917)
- James Alexander Murray (1917-1920)
- John B. M. Baxter (1920-1921)
- Charles D. Richards (1921-1925)
- John B. M. Baxter (1925-1931)
- Charles D. Richards (1931-1933)
- Leonard P. D. Tilley (1933-1935)
- Frederick C. Squires (1935-1939)
- Hugh H. Mackay (1939-1948)
- Hugh John Flemming (1948-1960) (House leader 1948-1951)
- Cyril Sherwood (1960-1966)
- Charles Van Horne (1966-1967)
- Richard Hatfield (1967-1987) (House leader 1967-1969)
- Malcolm MacLeod (1987-1989) (interim)
- Barbara Baird Filliter (1989-1991)
- Dennis Cochrane (1991-1995)
- Bernard Valcourt (1995-1997)
- Bernard Lord (1997-2007)
- Jeannot Volpé (2007-2008) (interim)
- David Alward (2008-2014)
- Bruce Fitch (2014-2016) (interim)
- Blaine Higgs (2016–present)
- List of premiers of New Brunswick
- List of New Brunswick political parties
- Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick leadership elections
- Johnson, David (2011). Thinking Government: Public Administration and Politics in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 79. ISBN 9781442603967.
- "New Brunswick Progressive Conservatives choose Bruce Fitch as interim leader". Toronto Star. Canadian Press. October 18, 2014.
- "Blaine Higgs wins New Brunswick Progressive Conservative leadership race". CBC News. October 22, 2016.