FREDERICTON, N.B. – Former Premier Shawn Graham has resigned his seat as the Liberal MLA for Kent.
“I have had the honour and privilege of serving the people of Kent for 15 years and I am proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved together – from improved roads and municipal infrastructure to improved low income housing and the creation of new job opportunities,” said Graham in announcing his resignation today.
“I am proud of the growth of local industries like the cranberry industry and the commitment of companies like Ocean Spray.
“I am also deeply honoured to have served the people of New Brunswick as their premier,” he said. “I take pride in many of the accomplishments achieved during our mandate – the poverty reduction initiative, the restoration of the Petitcodiac River, the post-secondary education reforms and increased job creation and economic development through successes such as the two-billion dollar expansion of the Sussex Potash mine, and the twinning of Route 1.”
Graham continued: “With that said, I profoundly regret that some of our initiatives were not as successful as others, and for that I apologize to all New Brunswickers. I want them to know that I always had their best intentions at the forefront of my mind.
“I purposely chose to remain as a member of the legislative assembly until the conclusion of the matter under consideration by Commissioner Ryan, the conflict of interest commissioner,” said Graham.
“Despite the fact that I will be tendering my resignation, it is my intention to pay the penalty assessed by Justice Ryan as outlined in the report and recommendations.”
Graham added: “This past week has been a difficult time for me and I have watched the Alward government attempt to play politics as a means of distracting the public from their government’s ineptitude and inability to deal with the greatest challenges facing our province.
“I believe that, as a result of these political games, my continued presence as a member of the legislative assembly is also an unnecessary distraction for the New Brunswick Liberal party and our new leader Brian Gallant,” he said.
“I have always tried to put the best interests of the Liberal party before my own. I have discussed this matter with our leader and we mutually believe that this is the best action to be taken.”
Graham said he has been working on several constituency files and these next two weeks will provide him an opportunity to bring them to a conclusion before his resignation takes effect on March 11.