“At this point in time, when the premier has gone out and said our first priority is to balance the budget, we can’t afford to be spending $50 million on a project such as this,” said New Brunswick Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Bill Oliver.

Members of the New Brunswick legislature have chosen Bill Oliver as the new Speaker.

The Progressive Conservative member for Kings Centre was the only candidate after Ross Wetmore, the member for Gagetown-Petitcodiac, withdrew.

Oliver was first elected to the legislature in 2014 and reelected in 2018 and again this year.

He took a moment today to recognize Brenda Robertson -- the first female member of the New Brunswick legislature -- who died last month.

Oliver replaces Liberal Daniel Guitard in the Speaker's chair.

The provincial legislature is scheduled to begin its fall session Nov. 17.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020.