POLITICS

New Brunswick Tories and New Democrats agree on patronage prevention measures

02/13/2013 01:14 EST | Updated 04/15/2013 05:12 EDT
FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's Progressive Conservative government is adopting two measures suggested by the New Democrats to help prevent patronage.

Deputy premier Paul Robichaud says the government will amend legislation to prevent former members of the legislature from landing a government job within a year of leaving politics.

He said it is something the general public has been asking for.

"It is to make sure that an MLA won't take advantage of the fact of his contact and knowledge to find a job immediately in the government just after he resigns or is defeated in a provincial election," Robichaud said.

He said the government will also remove political influence in the hiring of the CEO of NB Liquor by having the position chosen by the board and not the government.

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy applauded the moves.

"This sort of commitment to working together with other political parties is the sort of opposition you can expect from the NDP," Cardy said. "It shouldn't matter which side of the aisle you're on. It should matter what you're doing for the people of New Brunswick."

Robichaud said the government might go further with Cardy's suggestion about NB Liquor.

"Why only NB Liquor? Why not all the Crown corporations?"

He said the changes will be made in the spring or fall sessions of the legislature.

The New Democrats made the suggestions last week. Cardy said Premier David Alward agreed to move ahead with them during a meeting Wednesday.