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Higgs takes crash course in state of the province as he mulls cabinet choices
New Brunswick's incoming premier says he's spent the weekend getting his bearings -- and discovering the true state of the province's finances.
The next couple of weeks are going to be busy for Blaine Higgs.
He says he'll likely be letting his caucus know who's in cabinet late Wednesday or early Thursday and the Progressive Conservative cabinet ministers will be sworn in on Friday.
Next week, Higgs plans to meet with health officials because he did promise to figure out a solution to the paramedic situation in the province as soon as possible.
The week after -- likely Nov. 20 -- the New Brunswick legislature will resume with his throne speech.
In between all this – Higgs is in presentations and meetings getting a crash course in the state of the province.
He says he wants to find out “where government is spending money and not getting results,” and mused about the idea of being his own minister of finance.
Later, he said he's going to work very closely with whoever becomes finance minister.
“Coming from the finance world, I mean, it will be something that I have a bit of attention on,” Higgs said. “But it'll be attention on the bigger picture and when things are brought into cabinet, or brought to caucus for decision, it will be ensuring that those items are actually getting value for what they're being presented for.”
There's no doubt Higgs has an uphill battle ahead of him.
Trying to maintain a minority government is not easy -- especially because New Brunswick doesn't have much experience with them.
And he does have some polarizing promises - like lifting the shale gas moratorium for the Sussex region.
But Higgs says this is the “fun part.”
He says the past month was a difficult one, and he's looking forward to getting on with government business – and says he's still trying to take French lessons.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.