05/27/2014 09:42 EDT | Updated 07/27/2014 05:59 EDT

Work begins on choosing next lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick

FREDERICTON - A committee has been formed to help select New Brunswick's next lieutenant-governor.

The federal government says the five-member committee will hold consultations on prospective candidates to succeed Lt.-Gov. Graydon Nicholas, who has held the position since 2009.

The group will present Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a shortlist of possible contenders, though its recommendations are not binding.

The Conservatives announced in 2012 it would create a permanent advisory committee on vice-regal appointments to provide non-partisan recommendations on the selection of governors general, lieutenant-governors and territorial commissioners.

The committee is comprised of three permanent members and two temporary members from the jurisdiction where lieutenant-governors and territorial commissioners would be appointed.

Georgette Roy, a former citizenship judge in Fredericton, and Jean-Bernard Lafontaine, a former regional executive director in the Department of Canadian Heritage, will serve as temporary committee members to help choose Nicholas's successor.

Nicholas is New Brunswick's first aboriginal lieutenant-governor.