Higgs sworn-in as New Brunswick premier, names francophone as deputy premier

FREDERICTON — Blaine Higgs has been sworn-in as the 34th premier of New Brunswick, just a week after the Liberal government of Brian Gallant was defeated on a confidence vote.

At the age of 64, Higgs is the oldest person to assume the job of premier in a province with a history of choosing young leaders.

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He has named a cabinet of 17 ministers, including himself.

Robert Gauvin, the Tories' lone member in northern New Brunswick, has been named deputy premier and minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

There are four women in cabinet, including rookie Andrea Anderson-Mason, who becomes minister of Justice and Attorney General.

At the age of 71, former member of Parliament Greg Thompson has been named minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Standings in the 49-seat legislature are 22 Tories, 21 Liberals, three Green party members and three People's Alliance MLAs.

Gallant says he hasn't yet decided if he'll stay on to lead his Liberal party.

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