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N.B. Wolastoqey chiefs skeptical of new Indigenous Affairs minister appointment – Global News

February 6, 2024

New Brunswick Wolastoqey chiefs are alleging that Premier Blaine Higgs’ choice for Indigenous Affairs minister shows a conflict of interest.

The previous minister, Arlene Dunn, resigned from cabinet last week. Higgs has since chosen Natural Resources Minister Mike Holland to take over the portfolio.

The move is being greeted with skepticism by the six Wolastoqey chiefs.

“He’s welcomed a fox in the hen house,” said Sitansisk Chief Alan Polchies.

“We all know where Higgs is going with this in terms of natural resources. His vision is to have fracking in this province and hopes that the First Nations will side with them. But that’s not where we’re at.”

Polchies believes the move signals the government’s intention to continue their push to revive the province’s natural gas industry.

Higgs has been advocating for development in the sector for years, and renewed that call in his State of the Province address in January.

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