N.B. education minister announces resignation



New Brunswick Education Minister Dominic Cardy resigned on Thursday and printed a blistering resignation letter, calling out Premier Blaine Higgs’s management and values.

Higgs, nevertheless, referred to as Cardy’s vocal departure “vindictive” and “hurtful,” suggesting the minister stop solely after studying he can be booted from cupboard.

Cardy circulated his resignation letter during which he accused Higgs of steadily consolidating energy over the previous 14 months and making a disrespectful work environment for public servants. The premier, Cardy added, delayed or undermined work on reconciliation with cultural communities and First Nations.

As effectively, Cardy stated, Higgs broke a marketing campaign promise to reform the education system, to take choices primarily based on proof and to do politics in another way.

“Change requires care, not a wrecking ball,” Cardy stated, referring to the premier’s choice to strain the Education Department to abolish French immersion in faculties by September 2023 — “an initiative not included in our platform or throne speech, and never shared or permitted by cupboard or caucus.”

Later on Thursday, following a cupboard shuffle, Higgs advised reporters that Cardy’s efficiency as education minister was lower than snuff.

“He clearly knew that I wasn’t pleased with the progress in education,” Higgs stated. “I’ve been speaking about this for 10 to 12 years now. Having higher outcomes, however higher classroom experiences, with the ability to communicate each official languages — at the very least conversationally. Having academics have a voice and actually be concerned in how we enhance the system, and mainly simply striving for higher outcomes for our college students.”

Higgs stated he advised Cardy that he was going to be eliminated as education minister Thursday morning, including Cardy had threatened to resign 4 or 5 occasions since being appointed.

“He stated, ‘Am I gonna keep in cupboard?’ And I stated, ‘No.’ Then he pulled the letter,” the premier stated.

“I’m disenchanted in lots of the feedback as a result of they’re hurtful,” Higgs continued. “And it isn’t useful. I’m not afraid to make choices if we now have points, and we have to handle it.”

In his resignation letter, Cardy stated the premier’s management fashion made it tough to perform wanted reforms to the province’s French second-language system. “You can not change deadlines on massive methods primarily based in your emotional state, with out undermining the standard of the work, or the morale of your workforce,” Cardy stated.

“I’ve labored tirelessly to arrange our (education) system for modifications. Many are achieved, however some will stall due to your micromanagement. Government shouldn’t be the identical as constructing oil tankers.”

The former education minister additionally accused the premier of yelling at a civil servant and making a disrespectful work setting.

“Your behaviour at a current assembly, the place you refused to even learn proof you had particularly requested, as an alternative selecting to yell, ‘Data my ass’ at a senior civil servant since you did not like what the information confirmed you; effectively, that was the tip of your political mission in my eyes: If you reject proof since you dislike it then you do not consider in proof,” Cardy stated.

Higgs was requested if he did, certainly, say these phrases to a civil servant.

“Yes, I did,” the premier replied.

“Because the numbers didn’t mirror any actual worth in data that we have been attempting to grasp,” Higgs defined. “Are we getting higher? Are we implementing this system? I imply, I’ve been speaking about our incapability to talk each languages and the French immersion program solely graduating 30 per cent or much less of our youngsters bilingual. I’ve been speaking about that perpetually. This shouldn’t be new.”

On the topic of well being care, Cardy stated that the premier’s choice to “abolish the democratically elected Regional Health Authorities with out informing cupboard represents a gradual consolidation of energy in your personal palms that has accelerated during the last 14 months.”

The excessive turnover charge within the civil service would have been enormously lowered and morale maintained if the work setting was extra respectful, he stated. Too many good individuals have left on dangerous phrases, on Higgs’s watch, Cardy added.

In the cupboard shuffle, Public Safety Minister Bill Hogan was sworn in as education minister, and Kris Austin changed Hogan on the Public Safety Department.

Cardy, regardless of his sturdy phrases, stated he would proceed because the Progressive Conservative member for Fredericton West-Hanwell. Cardy was sworn in as minister of education and early childhood growth in 2018, and he was chief of the province’s New Democratic Party from 2011-16 and served as chief of workers to the chief of the Opposition from 2017-18.

Higgs, nevertheless, stated it’s unlikely that Cardy will stay within the Progressive Conservative caucus.

“I can solely say that for him to take the time and have a letter ready has been executed most likely for the explanation of me simply going via the method and saying ‘you possibly can’t keep in caucus.’ That’s actually the place it will find yourself. But it looks as if that is all a part of an orchestrated plan,” the premier stated.

“I assume it’s what it’s, and throwing a laundry record in, and making it actually a vindictive course of, you recognize, it isn’t useful.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Oct. 13, 2022.


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