08/20/2014 03:25 EDT | Updated 10/20/2014 05:59 EDT

A QuickSketch profile of New Brunswick's Progressive Conservative party leader

A sketch of David Alward, leader of the Progressive Conservative party of New Brunswick.

Age: 54

Early years: Alward was born in Massachusetts but was raised in New Brunswick, going to high school in Nackawic, west of Fredericton. Before getting into politics, Alward worked for the federal government with Canada Customs and as a program officer with Human Resources Development Canada, before starting his own private consulting business. He operates a small farm with his family in Riceville.

Education: Has a bachelor of psychology from Bryan College in Tennessee.

Political career: First elected to the legislature in 1999, he represents the riding of Woodstock. Served as minister of agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture in a previous Conservative government. Became leader of the Progressive Conservative party in October 2008 and won a majority government for the party in 2010, defeating the Liberal government of Shawn Graham.

Family: Married to Rhonda, the couple have two grown sons, Jonathan and Benjamin.

Quote: "To not take advantage of this opportunity would be one of the most irresponsible things a government could do," Alward said in January talking about the province's fledgling, yet contentious, shale gas industry. "This is New Brunswick's time."