Brian Gallant

Brian Gallant

The Honourable
Brian Gallant
LL.M.,MLA
33rd Premier of New Brunswick
Incumbent
Assumed office
October 7, 2014
Monarch Elizabeth II
Lieutenant Governor Graydon Nicholas
Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau
Preceded by David Alward
Leader of the Opposition of New Brunswick
In office
April 30, 2013 – October 7, 2014
Preceded by Victor Boudreau
Succeeded by Bruce Fitch
Leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Association
Incumbent
Assumed office
October 27, 2012
Preceded by Shawn Graham
Victor Boudreau (interim)
Member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
Incumbent
Assumed office
April 15, 2013
Preceded by first member
Constituency Shediac Bay-Dieppe
Kent (2013-2014)
Personal details
Born (1982-04-27) April 27, 1982
Moncton, New Brunswick
Political party Liberal
Occupation Lawyer

Brian Alexander Gallant (born April 27, 1982) is the 33rd and current Premier of New Brunswick since October 7, 2014. He is currently the youngest premier in Canada, at age 32. Of Acadian and Dutch descent, Gallant practised as a lawyer before winning the Liberal leadership in October 2012, securing the riding of Kent in a by-election on April 15, 2013, shortly followed by his swearing in as Leader of the Opposition.

After the 2014 election, in which the Progressive Conservative government of David Alward was defeated, Gallant now represents the riding of Shediac Bay-Dieppe.

Early life

Gallant was born in Shediac Bridge; his Acadian father, Pierre, was the youngest of seven children, whilst his mother, Marilyn (née Scholten), was the child of Dutch immigrants who arrived in the 1950s.[1] He also has two siblings, Melissa and Pierre. In his youth, he was educated at a variety of schools across New Brunswick; he ascribed his many moves to his parents' search for work, labouring at minimum wage jobs in convenience stores and fast food restaurants, eventually having to move the family into the small home of Gallant's grandparents.[2] He ended up graduating from Polyvalente Louis-J.-Robichaud back in Shediac - his principal recalled telling Gallant he predicted he would one day be Premier, saying, "You have all the qualities of being a future premier here in New Brunswick."[3] Gallant says his interest in politics started when, with nobody else offering, he became vice president of his grade 5 class, and by the end of his teenage years he decided he would pursue a political career.[3]

In order to pay his way through university, he started and ran two small companies, eventually allowing him to graduate from the Université de Moncton with both a BA in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Laws degree, later receiving a Master's in Law from McGill University.[1] Whilst at Moncton, he was made president of the student federation.[2] Afterwards, he practised corporate and commercial law with the firm Stewart McKelvey, and then became a partner at Veritas Law in Dieppe.[1]

Early political career

His first foray into provincial politics was an ambitious one as, at 24, he secured the Liberal nomination to run against Premier Bernard Lord in the Progressive Conservative's riding of Moncton East for the 2006 election.[3] Though his Liberal biography says he nearly defeated Lord,[2] in reality Moncton East was a safe PC riding, re-electing Lord with a strong majority even whilst his party fell to defeat in New Brunswick. However, a campaign against a sitting premier gave added exposure for Gallant.

When the Liberal government of Shawn Graham was itself defeated in 2010, Gallant authored a paper on reforming the Liberal Party, to make it more accessible for new members and a new generation of leaders to emerge; many of its recommendations were reportedly adopted. After Graham's resignation as leader of the party, Gallant put himself forward to succeed him, winning against former justice minister Mike Murphy and dairy farmer Nick Duivenvorden in its 2012 leadership election.[2] After a successful by-election run in Graham's former riding of Kent, where he gained a commanding lead, Gallant was sworn into the Legislative Assembly on April 30, 2013, making him Leader of the Opposition to David Alward's PC government.[1]

Leader of the Opposition

Heading into the 2014 election campaign, Gallant pushed a $900 million package of infrastructure spending over six years as a way to create 1,700 jobs for a province with one of the country's worst unemployment rates. He also campaigned on a tax rise for some of the province's richest, and on removing property tax breaks for businesses. He also supports the proposed Energy East pipeline, wants free eye exams for four-year-olds, grants for seniors to renovate their homes, and an additional 6,000 daycare spaces. In reaction to his perceived abortion policies, an anti-abortion group send out pamphlets in Moncton showing a smiling Gallant superimposed alongside a bloodied fetus, saying "A vote for Brian Gallant and the Liberals is a vote for this."[3]

On an election night marred by technical glitches with the voting tabulators, the Liberals won a majority and formed the government with Gallant as Premier on October 7, 2014.

Electoral record

New Brunswick general election, 2006: Moncton East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Bernard Lord 3816 54.8% +2.7%
Liberal Brian Gallant 2827 40.6% +1.8%
New Democratic Mark Robar 319 4.6% -4.4%
2012 Liberal leadership election results[4]
Candidate Points %
Brian Gallant 3,259.44 59.26
Michael Murphy 2,089.39 37.99
Nick Duivenvoorden 151.17 2.75
April 15, 2013 by-election: Kent
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Liberal Brian Gallant 3,543 59.10% +3.38
     NDP Susan Levi-Peters[5] 1,615 26.94% +11.62
     Progressive Conservative Jimmy Bourque[6] 837 13.96% -11.79
[7]
New Brunswick general election, 2014: Shediac Bay-Dieppe
** Preliminary results — Not yet official **
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Brian Gallant 5,661 64.39
Progressive Conservative Dolorès Poirier 1,678 19.09
New Democratic Agathe Lapointe 803 9.13
Green Stephanie Matthews 620 7.05
Total valid votes 8,792 69.54
Eligible voters 12,643
Liberal notional gain Swing

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Brian Gallant". Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Meet Brian". New Brunswick Liberal Association. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Tucker, Erika (23 September 2014). "Who is New Brunswick Premier-designate Brian Gallant?". Global News. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Huras, Adam (October 29, 2012). "Gallant elected new Liberal Leader". TelegraphJournal.com. Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Susan Levi-Peters wins NDP nomination in Kent". CBC News. March 24, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Kent byelection Tory candidate acclaimed". CBC News. March 19, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Elections New Brunswick". Gnb.ca. Retrieved 2014-08-27.