New NB Speaker

Article 8 / 13 , Vol 43 No 4 (Winter)

New NB Speaker

Progressive Conservative MLA for Kings Centre Bill Oliver was elected Speaker of the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly on October 7, 2020. Speaker Oliver was acclaimed when the only other candidate, Ross Wetmore, PC MLA for Gagetown-Petitcodiac, withdrew his name from consideration shortly before the vote was set to take place.

First elected to the legislature in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 and 2020, Speaker Oliver served as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in the previous parliament.

Prior to his tenure as an MLA, Speaker Oliver worked in the insurance industry for almost three decades. He also owned a convenience store in St. John. He also represented the province five times at the National Curling Championships.

Speaker Oliver’s political career actually began in the Speaker’s Office in 1999 when he worked for former Speaker Bev Harrison.

“I never expected when I served as the executive assistant to Speaker Harrison back in 1999 that someday I would stand in his place as the speaker,” he said. “It has indeed been a journey.”

Once he assumed the Speaker’s chair, he told the legislature: “I realize that, according to tradition, I am to accept this chair reluctantly, but in truth, I accept this honour with great humility and respect.”

Speaker Oliver and his wife Chris live in Kiersteadville on the Belleisle Bay. They have one son.