Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of Premier Frank McKenna's resignation I rise today on behalf of my colleagues to wish him well. There are few Canadian politicians, in fact not one that I could name, that have to their credit having won 58 out of 58 seats in a provincial election or any election. This certainly has been an indication of the level of support the premier has had throughout his 10 years of office.
I note it is rumoured that Premier McKenna is thinking of leaving politics and perhaps going to work in Africa. The current prime minister should beware. When I stepped down as provincial leader in Nova Scotia it was my intention to go to Africa, not to go after the top job in the federal NDP. So one never knows where Frank McKenna may land when it comes to his future decisions.
During 10 of the 12 years that Frank McKenna was in the New Brunswick legislature, I had the opportunity to serve in the adjacent legislature in Nova Scotia. During that time we had differences of opinion as you might expect. There were a couple of particularly strong ones over his commitment to workfare, which I think has been proven to be something of a failure, and also over his commitment to court corporations into the province to create low wage jobs as long as they were subsidized by the public.
Despite my differences with Frank McKenna from time to time, I have never questioned his sincere commitment to serve the people of his province as he saw fit.
On this occasion I would like to wish him and his family well. Whatever he decides to pursue in the future I am sure he will undertake with the same kind of zeal and passion with which he has approached his job as premier of the province of New Brunswick.