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N.B. P.C. party says former cabinet minister looking to 'settle his personal grievance' after Liberal endorsement

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A pointed social media post from the New Brunswick Progressive Conservative party about a former Tory MLA’s recent endorsement was made in “bad taste,” according to the leader of the official opposition.

Gary Crossman, who resigned as environment minister and P.C. MLA this past spring, offered an endorsement last week of Liberal candidate John Herron in the riding of Hampton-Fundy-St. Martins.

Crossman was the riding’s Tory MLA for nearly 10 years.

Faytene Grasseschi was acclaimed as the riding’s P.C. candidate last December.

In response to Crossman’s endorsement of Herron, a Facebook post from the provincial P.C. party called Crossman “a sore loser,” who “couldn't deliver support to his hand-picked successor, who then dropped out of the nomination race before losing at the ballot box.”

The P.C. social media post also said Crossman was about to take a “luxury trip this October,” and was looking to “settle his personal grievance.”

“Gary gets a vacation with his pension. You get the carbon tax,” said the P.C. social media post.

When reached by phone on Monday, Crossman said he didn’t have any comment on the P.C. party’s post other than mentioning it would be voters who ultimately make a decision this fall.

In April, Crossman said he resigned from the Progressive Conservatives because “my personal and political beliefs no longer align in many ways with the direction of our party and government.”

Liberal leader Susan Holt said the P.C. post about Crossman wasn’t a surprise, and followed a recent trend from the party of what she called American-style politics.

“I really didn’t like it,” said Holt. “For the P.C. party to come out and tear (Crossman) down and even use misinformation about him, I thought it was in really bad taste.”

Interview requests to Premier Blaine Higgs’ office and P.C. campaign manager Steve Outhouse were declined on Monday.

University of New Brunswick political scientist J.P. Lewis said the post about Crossman was likely geared toward party faithful, rather than the general electorate.

“This could be (the P.C. party) trying to drive up enthusiasm with their base, with the folks who have stayed with the party, stuff like that… to try and build momentum heading into the fall, out of whatever turmoil the last 18 months to two years have created for the party itself,” said Lewis.

Several Progressive Conservative MLAs who’ve voiced concerns about Higgs’ leadership have either already resigned, or signaled their intentions not to reoffer in the next provincial election, including Daniel Allain, Dorothy Shephard, Trevor Holder, Andrea Anderson-Mason, and Jeff Carr.

A fixed-election date has been scheduled for Oct. 21 in New Brunswick.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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