Blaine Higgs

Leader, Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick

MLA, Quispamsis

Constituency office:

25 William Court Quispamsis, NB E2E 4B1

Blaine Higgs, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Quispamsis, was born in Woodstock, New Brunswick. He graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. In 1993, he completed the Executive Management Training Program at Queen’s University. He also has taken courses in finance in 2003, and Leadership and Influence at Babson Executive Training and Education in 2006.

First elected to the Legislative Assembly on September 27, 2010, he represents the riding of Quispamsis. On October 12, 2010, he was sworn-in as Minister of Finance, Minister responsible for the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation, Minister responsible for the New Brunswick Investment Management Corporation, Minister responsible for the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation, and Chair of the Board of Management. He also served as Minister of Human Resources until October 9, 2012.

Mr. Higgs was reelected to the Legislative Assembly on September 22, 2014, as MLA for Quispamsis. In 2016 he was elected Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and is currently the Leader of the Official Opposition. Immediately following university, Mr. Higgs joined Irving Oil Limited in Saint John, New Brunswick, where he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in engineering, refining operations and in the transportation sector. Prior to retirement in May 2010, he was Director of Logistics and Distribution, with overall responsibility for the transportation and bulk storage requirements for the reliable supply of refined products to customers throughout Eastern Canada and New England.

He was a member of the Irving team negotiating with Repsol on the Canaport LNG project. He also served on the Board of Directors for Canaport LNG and the New Brunswick Gateway Council.

A long-standing member of the Kennebecasis Baptist Church, he has served on various boards and committees. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of New Brunswick, past vice-chair of the New Brunswick Gateway Council, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Fundy Royal Conservative Association.

He has traveled extensively for business and pleasure. The insight learned through this interaction with different cultures provides him with a real appreciation for the challenges that New Brunswick faces in the global economy.

A long-time resident of Quispamsis, he is married to Marcia, and the couple has four daughters: Lindsey, Laura (Reid Gilmore), Sarah (Jeff Wilkinson) and Rachel. They are also blessed with 2 grandchildren, Nadia and Alexander Gilmore. They all enjoy spending time in the country and pursuing many outdoor activities, such as swimming, boating, skiing, snowmobiling, and fishing.

Blaine Higgs's approach

Throwing out the good work of any government or repeating work that has already been done shows a complete lack of management experience and lack of common sense. Partisanship is no reason to abandon what is working for our province. It should not be about ego and it should not be about politics – it should be about making New Brunswick better. The Strategic Review Program initiated by this current government was a complete duplication of work already completed 3 years prior.
I’m ready to go, training wheels are not required. I do not need the typical 2-year orientation period of a new government. Attracting and supporting strategic investments to grow the economy throughout the province requires a sense of urgency and consistency from government that takes precedence over political priorities.
No premier has all the solutions. I will utilize experts inside and outside of government and we will be accountable for the results. Solving the complex challenges of our province requires engaging the appropriate subject matter experts. As politicians we should not be expected to have all of the answers. A true leader builds the right organization to meet the necessary targets and timelines.
Let’s mobilize our best assets and get the job done. It is time for action. We were well on that road and the culture of performance was growing. I want to get back on that plan. Perhaps the biggest opportunity we have before us is to ensure that we tap into our own expertise, whether that is in the civil service, the business community, or on the factory floor. We must allow anyone with ideas to become engaged citizens and the leaders we need.

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On the issues

New Brunswick’s literacy rate is unacceptably low. At less than 50%, it is a clear and present danger to our ability to advance our province. If we are to get the job done, our government’s educational policy must focus on curriculum that takes a literacy-first approach, with the necessary resources to achieve that goal. We must do better at teaching our children and adults to read.
Our education results just aren’t good enough. And what do we do with our broken system? We throw money at it. Since 2006, we have increased per student spending on education by 30%, while our enrolment has dropped by nearly 14%. In Canada, only Manitoba and Saskatchewan pay more per student. We have tinkered with our system for 35 years and haven’t solved the problem. We must do better at empowering teachers to reinvent the classroom.
New Brunswick’s heritage includes Indigenous, Anglophone and Francophone cultures. Achieving our full potential as a province depends on allowing each of these cultures to thrive, and on ensuring we achieve true bilingual capability through our education system. We need to do better at helping our young people become bilingual.

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Statement – October 9th

Fredericton, NB:  As we count down the days until the legislature is called back, I would like to once again ask Brian Gallant to do what is best for New Brunswick and resign. Our province has pressing issues that need to be dealt with. We need a functioning, legitimate government and time is of the essence. […]