FREDERICTON, N.B – Premier Blaine Higgs has the highest approval rating (source) of Premier’s across Canada, due to his active response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Global News, “The level of support means Higgs is the most approved of premier in not just Atlantic Canada but across the country.”
This does not mean that the Higgs government has been free from controversy—his adversary literary lovers across New Brunswick. The appointment of Kevin Cormier to the head of New Brunswick’s public library system has caused public concern and concern of the prior head.
Sylvie Nadeau told CBC News, “It remains incomprehensible and unacceptable to me that the government of New Brunswick considers that it is acceptable to appoint people without the officially approved qualifications … as long as it can claim the legality of the appointment through a loophole such as the [corporate] talent management program.”
Michael Christie, a New Brunswick resident, is concerned with this appointment.
“To me it is a simple matter of trust in the government and its increasing role in my everyday life,” he said, continuing, “I want to trust the Government to make informed decisions about subjects like say public health, and I still do, but when appointments of an appearantly unqualified person go unchecked or properly questioned then that trust wanes.”
Numerous New Brunswick residents have spoken out against the appointment of Kevin Cormier on social media such as the New Brunswick subreddit, and on the professional-oriented platform Linkedin.
One Reddit user, Jeff, a provincial employee in New Brunswick believes this appointment should have been reviewed at the very least.
“I think this appointment should definitely be reviewed. If he’s not qualified and was chosen over other applicants that were, it’s a no-brainer.” He said, continuing with, “I’m a provincial employee myself. My understanding has always been that unsuccessful applicants are notified by mail and given an opportunity to challenge the decision.”
The government has said there will be no review of the appointment, despite questions of Kevin Cormier’s qualifications. His LinkedIn profile is the only online presence of his past work and schooling.
His education listed includes 1 year at Schulich School of Business at York University in 2005, and Moncton Flight college from 1998-2005. Cormier’s past jobs include the CEO of Kings Landing Corporation from 2011-2019 and various advertising jobs.
Silbie Nadeau believes this is not enough to qualify for the position.
According to CBC News, “Nadeau received an email from Kelly Cain, the deputy minister responsible for human resources, Finance and Treasury Board, which was copied to the premier, Steeves and Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder, who is responsible for libraries. In the email, Cain thanked Nadeau for her “input” on the matter but said the appointment of the new executive director of the library service “was done through careful consideration and in accordance with the Civil Service Act.”
This is not the first time that Cormier has faced criticism for his role at public service jobs in New Brunswick. According to a CBC News article, Comier gave away 100s of books from the historical site Kings Landing. These books were donated to Value Village in Fredericton.
According to the article, “Darrell Butler helped build up the Kings Landing library over more than 40 years as the chief curator and manager of heritage resources.”
“I walked in one day and said, ‘Gee that looks like a book that I donated to Kings Landing.’ And I opened it up and there was my name inside the book, so I knew it was the book that I had donated.” He told the CBC.
The article goes onto say that, “Butler estimates “hundreds” of books worth “well over $50,000-$60,000” were lost.”
We attempted to reach Kevin Cormier for comment, but we did not receive a response.