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New Brunswick premier dismisses call for resignation of natural resources minister

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FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Green Leader David Coon is calling on Natural Resources Minister Mike Holland to resign from cabinet because of a letter he wrote to the Energy and Utilities Board. 

The board is dealing with an application from Irving Oil for an increase in the wholesale prices of fuel oil, gasoline and diesel produced at its Saint John refinery.

Coon says any effort to influence the work of the board is an abuse of power.

The Opposition Liberals say by sending a letter to encourage a quick review, the minister is interfering in the work of the board.

But in a statement, late Wednesday, Premier Blaine Higgs says he won't ask Holland to resign.  

Higgs says there are significant concerns about the continuity of oil supply and the impacts that the current market and federal regulations will have on the oil refinery, especially during COVID-19, and the minister was acting on behalf of government to support a review.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press