Incumbent Fredericton South MLA and New Brunswick Green Party leader David Coon has just been re-elected following a brief and turbulent election.
“This election certainly has been one for the history books. A pandemic, a public health emergency, and here we were in an election campaign,” said Coon to a laughing crowd at Rustico.
Premier Blaine Higgs called the snap election on August 17, leading to a 28 day campaign that left little room for discourse and was rife with controversy amid COVID-19 concerns.
This is Coon’s third term as Fredericton South MLA, after becoming Leader of the New Brunswick Green Party in 2012 and being elected as MLA in 2014.
Coon was elected with a comfortable margin of 53 percent of the vote, followed by Conservative candidate Brain MacKinnon who finished the night with 30 percent of the vote.
The Green showing in Fredericton South stands out among the other Fredericton ridings, with the surrounding area painted firmly with Conservative blue; Incumbents Mary Wilson, Jeff Carr, and Dominic Cardy were all re-elected in in Oromocto-Lincoln-Fredericton, New Maryland-Sudbury, and Fredericton West-Hanwell respectively, Ryan Cullins was elected in Fredericton-York, and Jill Green was elected in Fredericton North. An exception to this trend is People’s Alliance incumbent Kris Austin who was re-elected in Fredericton-Grand Lake.
Coon began his speech to a crowd of cheering supporters with a territorial acknowledgement, and a renewed promise to work toward investigation into anti-Indigenous racism in New Brunswick.
“I will say tonight that we will continue to fight for an inquiry into the racism in our justice and police systems on behalf of the Indigenous peoples all across this province,” he said.
Solving the homelessness problem, addressing healthcare concerns, ensuring that we get the performing arts center and the aquatic center “a capital city like ours should have” were also listed as Coon’s priorities upon re-entering office.
Coon also spoke about the importance of continuing active discussion and action surrounding COVID-19 prevention in New Brunswick.
“I look forward to continuing to contribute to the work of the COVID-19 cabinet committee to help keep all New Brunswickers safe, secure and healthy,” he said.
Coon says he plans to sit down with Premier Higgs at the “earliest opportunity” to discuss ideas and issues going forward.
“I can’t wait to get back to doing the job you’ve elected me to do."