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Former MP seeks N.B. Liberal leadership

·2 min read
T.J. Harvey was the M.P. for Tobique-Mactaquac from 2015 to 2019. (Submitted - image credit)
T.J. Harvey was the M.P. for Tobique-Mactaquac from 2015 to 2019. (Submitted - image credit)

T.J. Harvey, the former Liberal MP for the riding of Tobique-Mactaquac, is running to be the next leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Party.

Harvey is expected to make a formal announcement on Tuesday in Fredericton, but he confirmed his intentions Saturday.

"I'm very much a person of action," Harvey said. "So when I decide to do something, I want to do it then."

Harvey was elected as MP in 2015, but didn't seek re-election in 2019. He left federal politics to go back to work in the private sector.

But he said he's been thinking about entering provincial politics for some time.

"I think with provincial politics it's more hands on, and you have the ability to see the change that you are trying to affect more clearly."

The provincial Liberals confirmed Harvey is the first person to officially enter the leadership race.

Political newcomer Kevin Vickers last held the post, taking over as leader of the opposition in April 2019.

CBC/Mike Heenan
CBC/Mike Heenan

Vickers led the party through a snap election in September 2020 that was called by the Progressive Conservative minority government of Blaine Higgs.

In that election, Higgs won a majority while the Liberals lost five ridings that they won in 2018. They also lost roughly three per cent of the popular vote.

Vickers failed to win a seat in the legislature and stepped aside as leader of the party.

Roger Melanson, MLA for Dieppe, took over as interim leader of the party shortly after the election.

The New Brunswick Liberal Association is still working on rules for the leadership race.

But Harvey said he's looking forward to beginning his campaign.

"What's most important at this time is to get out and meet with as many New Brunswickers from all different parts of the province and have the hard conversations with them," he said.

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