New Brunswick Premiers and Provincial Government Spending

Printer-friendly version
New Brunswick Premiers and Provincial Government Spending


  • Per-person inflation-adjusted program spending is a key measure of government fiscal policy. With comparable data going back to 1965, we are able to compare different historical periods and the tenures of various premiers of New Brunswick.
  • From 1965 to 2021, per-person spending increased from $2,346 (in 2021 inflation-adjusted dollars) to $11,835. Put simply, New Brunswick’s provincial government per-person spending in-creased substantially over the 56-year period.
  • Premier Louis Robichaud stands out as the premier who increased spending the most of any New Brunswick premier since 1965. Robichaud’s 17.3 percent average annual change in per-person spending is substantially higher than the next two premiers with the greatest increases, Camille Thériault (4.9 percent), and Shawn Graham (4.5 percent).
  • Richard Hatfield, at 3.1 percent, Bernard Lord, at 2.3 percent, and Brian Gallant, at 1.5 percent, are the middle of the pack, ranking fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively as the premiers who increased per-person spending the most during their respective tenures.
  • The Frank McKenna government effectively held spending even during its term, with a -0.1 percent average annual decrease. David Alward, at -0.5 percent, and current premier Blaine Higgs, at -2.2 percent, are the premiers who have exercised the most restraint in spending during our period of analysis.

More from this study

Subscribe to the Fraser Institute

Get the latest news from the Fraser Institute on the latest research studies, news and events.