Two weeks after New Brunswickers went to the polls, their newly-elected MLAs arrived at the legislature on Monday.
It was an exciting day for Rene Legacy, a first-time MLA elected from the Bathurst area. He was among 49 MLAs sworn into office in a ceremony Monday afternoon.
"When I walked in the first time, in that stairwell, the weight of the history wasn't lost on me," Legacy said.
Now the weight of the pandemic is back on Premier Blaine Higgs.
"We've seen how quickly outbreaks happen," he said.
Higgs says the first all-party COVID-19 meeting since the election is scheduled for this week. Among the issues is whether to make mask-wearing mandatory.
The status of COVID-19 controls in schools will be discussed and even Halloween is on the agenda, along with the Atlantic bubble.
"One of our primary areas is understanding who is coming and going in the Halifax airport particularly," Higgs said. "I mean, we have a little better control of our own, so I think that is one of the main concerns."
Higgs says there is currently no evidence of community transmission. Virtually all recent cases of COVID-19 have been travel-related.
"If we can continue to protect our Atlantic bubble, we can continue to move forward and have activities and schools and sports and recreation that maybe are not readily available in other provinces because they're in a different situation," Higgs said.
The premier says he'll be meeting with the other Atlantic premiers in October to discuss how the Atlantic bubble can be made more secure.
The new cabinet will be sworn in on Tuesday. Higgs signaled his intention Monday to recall the New Brunswick legislature in mid-November.