Dominic Cardy

Dominic William Cardy[1] (born 25 July 1970) is a Canadian politician. He is Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development in the New Brunswick government of Blaine Higgs and a Member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick representing the electoral district of Fredericton West-Hanwell for the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick since the 2018 New Brunswick general election.

Dominic Cardy

Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
Assumed office
9 November 2018
PremierBlaine Higgs
Preceded byBrian Kenny
Member of the
New Brunswick Legislative Assembly
for Fredericton West-Hanwell
Assumed office
24 September 2018
Preceded byBrian Macdonald
Leader of the New Brunswick New Democratic Party
In office
2 March 2011  1 January 2017
Preceded byJesse Travis
Succeeded byRosaire L'Italien
Personal details
Born (1970-07-25) 25 July 1970
Oxford, England
Political partyNew Democratic
Progressive Conservative

Previously, Cardy was chief of staff of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick caucus. He had been leader of the New Brunswick New Democratic Party (NDP) from 2011 until 1 January 2017.

Early life

Born in the United Kingdom, Cardy moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick with his family when he was a child.[2] He attended Dalhousie University and graduated with a political science degree.[2]

Cardy worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2000 on projects to increase public support for the banning of land mines[2] and for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) between 2001 and 2008. He served as a senior staff member and then country director for NDI in Nepal, Bangladesh and Cambodia.[3]

Political career

While a student at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Cardy was elected President of the Nova Scotia NDP's youth wing. He then worked as a party campaigner, political assistant to an NDP MP in Cape Breton, and managed several campaigns at the municipal and federal level.[2]

In 2000, Cardy co-founded NDProgress, a pressure group within the NDP that advocated the modernisation of the party's governance structures.[4] In writing about the debate within the NDP prior to its 2001 convention between the New Politics Initiative and those such as NDProgress, Cardy wrote "Some want to see the NDP recreated as a mass party based on the ideas of the traditional left, but infused with the energy of the new social movements and the anti-globalization activists. And there are those pushing from another direction, taking inspiration from the European socialists. If I had my choice I would fall firmly into this camp, those who want the party to follow the path laid by social democrats like Gary Doer, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder."[5]

Cardy was campaign director for the NDP in the 2010 provincial election.[6]

NDP leader

Cardy was acclaimed party leader on 2 March 2011 after the only other candidate for the position, Pierre Cyr, was disqualified from the party's 2011 leadership election.[6] At the 2012 New Brunswick New Democratic Party convention, Cardy received an 82% vote of confidence in his leadership from the assembled delegates.[7]

During the 2012 federal NDP leadership race, Cardy backed Thomas Mulcair, and was one of the introductory speakers at his campaign launch.

Cardy was the NDP's candidate in a 25 June 2012 provincial by-election in Rothesay, coming in third with 27 per cent of the vote.

As leader, Cardy recruited a slate of candidates that included several prominent former Conservative and Liberal politicians including former Liberal cabinet minister Kelly Lamrock in Fredericton South; Bev Harrison, a former Conservative and Speaker of the legislature, in Hampton; former Liberal MLA Abel LeBlanc in Saint John-Lancaster and former Liberal candidate John Wilcox in Rothesay. The move was criticised by some New Democrats, such as Chris Rendell, who had intended to run as a candidate, as evidence that Cardy was out of touch with the party's grassroots and was a contributing factor to the defection of some NDP supporters to the Green Party of New Brunswick.[8] Former party leader Allison Brewer endorsed the Greens due to the policy positions of Cardy's NDP.[9]

In the 2014 provincial election, Cardy ran as the party's candidate in Fredericton West-Hanwell.[9] During the election campaign, NDP candidate Paul Musgrave, running in Kent South, said he was "uncomfortable" with the party's support for the shale gas industry's use of fracking under certain circumstances.[10]

Though it received 12.98% of the vote in the 2014 provincial election, an all-time high for the NB NDP and its predecessor, the CCF, the party won no seats in the provincial legislature. Cardy himself lost to Brian Macdonald in Fredericton-Hanwell, and announced in his concession speech that he would resign as party leader effective at the party's next convention,[9] which has been postponed to January 2015. Cardy faced pressure to rescind his resignation and run in the Saint John East by-election which was called following the surprise resignation of newly elected Liberal MLA Gary Keating on 14 October 2014.[11] Cardy announced on 21 October that he would be standing in the by-election, scheduled for 17 November,[12] and delayed his resignation.[13] Cardy placed third in the by-election with 21.88% of the vote.[14]

Cardy agreed to remain as leader after the party's executive rejected his resignation on 10 December 2014 and a letter was signed at the party's provincial council by supporters and former candidates urging him to stay on. The party also offered Cardy a "livable" salary beginning in 2015 due to its improved financial position. Cardy had been working as leader on a volunteer basis since assuming the position in 2011 and had no legislative salary as he is not a member of the provincial legislature.[15]

In early 2015, federal NDP MP Yvon Godin (Acadie—Bathurst) criticised Cardy's leadership and its conduct in the election campaign saying that Cardy had moved the provincial party too far to the centre. "The problem, I think, with the provincial party, with Dominic, was that I think he was too much to the right to even be in the centre, and I think people read into that," said Godin who added: "I think it did hurt the party. People were looking for the NDP, they were doing really well, and [voters] wanted change from the existing parties that we have now, who are serving the big corporations and forgetting about the people. I think that's what happened."[16]

In the summer of 2016, Cardy expressed his support for the proposed Energy East pipeline and supported Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley's position against the Leap Manifesto.[17] He had earlier refused to endorse federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair's leadership, saying he was troubled by positions taking by the federal party during the 2015 federal election, and skipped the April 2016 federal party convention along with the leadership review that occurred during the meeting.[18]

Resignation from the NDP

In the fall of 2016, the Memramcook-Tantramar NDP riding association passed a motion calling for Cardy's removal as leader. A member of the riding's executive said of Cardy that "His style of leadership has not been constructive in terms of building bridges, he's been mostly burning bridges and alienating a lot of people in the party." Cardy was also facing a leadership review in 2017.[19]

Cardy resigned as party leader, as well as resigning his membership of both the federal and New Brunswick NDP,[20] on 1 January 2017, complaining of party infighting which he attributed to "destructive forces" colluding with CUPE New Brunswick, the province's largest private-sector union against his leadership.[21] Cardy said that he "cannot lead a party where a tiny minority of well-connected members refuse to accept the democratic will of the membership." He added that "[l]imited time and energy is being wasted on infighting before the election," and that "'Some New Democrats unfortunately believe change and openness have had their time. They want to return to an old NDP of true believers, ideological litmus tests and moral victories."[22] Cardy claimed that what he described as his "progressive" platform had been thwarted by both federal and provincial party members and denounced the federal party's non-interventionist stance on the Syrian Civil War as antithetical to his beliefs.[21]

CUPE New Brunswick president Danny Legere responded to Cardy's accusations saying: "He's driven a lot of our rank and file members because of positions he has taken over the years away from the party."[23] Legere also said that Cardy"seemed to want to take the party more to the right, which didn't always line up with our vision of the party."[19] Patrick Colford, president of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour said of the leadership review Cardy had been facing that "two camps were doing their best to mobilize people … and one camp might have had a bit more momentum," he said. "You can read between the lines," he added, referring to Cardy's subsequent resignation.[19]

Cardy did not rule out returning to political activity in the future.[21] He said that he had great respect for Opposition Leader Blaine Higgs and might consider joining the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick before the next provincial election, expected in 2018.[24]

Conservative politics

Cardy's appointment as strategic issues director for the Opposition Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick was announced by party leader Blaine Higgs on 27 January 2017.[25] Cardy said it is "not my intention" to run for a legislative seat as a Progressive Conservative candidate but that a "great many" of his former colleagues in the NDP would be joining the Progressive Conservatives.[25]

The NDP's interim leader, Rosaire L'Italien, said that Cardy's move to the PCs "confirms the opinion of most of his detractors: he was and is a conservative. In the end, Cardy was just a visitor to the NDP."[26]

In April 2017, Cardy was promoted to the position of chief of staff to the official opposition New Brunswick Progressive Conservative caucus. Later that month he endorsed Maxime Bernier for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.[27]

Cardy was elected in the 2018 provincial election as the PC candidate in Fredericton West-Hanwell. He had run unsuccessfully in 2014 in the same riding as a New Democrat.[28]

Electoral record

2018 New Brunswick general election: Fredericton West-Hanwell
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Progressive ConservativeDominic Cardy2,73931.8
LiberalCindy Miles2,40427.9
People's AllianceJason Paull1,80320.9
GreenSusan Jonah1,49017.3
New DemocraticOlivier Hébert1712.0
Total valid votes 100.0  
Total rejected ballots
Eligible voters
New Brunswick provincial by-election, Saint John East, 17 November 2014
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Progressive ConservativeGlen Savoie2,22544.31+7.43
LiberalShelley Rinehart1,39827.84-9.18
New DemocraticDominic Cardy1,09921.88+3.36
GreenSharon Murphy2625.22-0.39
People's AllianceArthur Watson380.76-1.21
Total valid votes 5,022100.00  
Progressive Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +8.31
2014 New Brunswick general election: Fredericton West-Hanwell
Party Candidate Votes % ±
     Progressive Conservative Brian Macdonald 2,971 35.21
     NDP Dominic Cardy 2,502 29.65
     Liberal Bernadine Gibson 2,384 28.25
GreenGayla MacIntosh5826.90
2012 by-election: Rothesay
Party Candidate Votes % ±
     Progressive Conservative Hugh John "Ted" Flemming III 1,625 38.26 -18.31
     Liberal John Wilcox 1,328 31.27 +2.87
     NDP Dominic Cardy 1,158 27.27 +18.30
GreenSharon Murphy691.62-4.43
     Independent Marjorie MacMurray 62 1.46 *


  2. Profile: New Democratic Party Leader Dominic Cardy. CBC News, 11 August 2014.
  3. "Dominic Cardy joins the Forum as director for Asia-Pacific Programs". Forum on Federations. 20 November 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  4. biography Archived 17 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. OPEN LETTER TO NEW DEMOCRATS by Dominic Cardy (October 2001)
  6. "Cardy is N.B.'s new NDP leader". CBC News. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  7. "Dominic Cardy obtient la confiance des partisans du NPD". L'Acadie Nouvelle. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  8. "New Brunswick NDP leader proud Liberals, Tories now among his prize candidates". Kelowna Daily Courier. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  9. "Dominic Cardy resigns as NDP leader". CBC News, 22 September 2014.
  10. "NDP candidate 'uncomfortable' with Dominic Cardy's shale gas policy". CBC News, 18 September 2014.
  11. "Dominic Cardy urged to run in Saint John East byelection". CBC News. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  12. "NDP's Dominic Cardy will run in the Saint John East byelection". CBC News, 21 October 2014.
  13. "N.B. NDP Leader Dominic Cardy to run in Saint John East byelection". CTV Atlantic, 21 October 2014.
  14. "Tory candidate's second try results in win in New Brunswick byelection". CTV News. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  15. "Dominic Cardy will keep his job as NDP leader". CBC News. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  16. "Yvon Godin criticizes Dominic Cardy's NDP campaign tactics". CBC News. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  17. "Dominic Cardy distances N.B. NDP from Leap Manifesto". CBC News. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  18. "Dominic Cardy refuses to endorse Tom Mulcair, skips party convention". CBC News. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  19. "Cardy's parting words rile foes within NDP". CBC News. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  20. "N.B. NDP leader resigns over 'infighting' and clashes with federal party". CTV News. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  21. "N.B. NDP leader resigns, citing control by 'tiny minority of well-connected members'". CTV News. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  22. "NDP Leader Dominic Cardy resigns amid party 'infighting'". CBC News. 1 January 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  23. "Dominic Cardy stands by reasons for stepping down as leader of New Brunswick NDP". Global News. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  24. "Cardy won't rule out return to politics, jump to PCs". CBC News. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  25. "After resigning over infighting, former New Brunswick NDP leader joins Conservatives". Toronto Star. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  26. "Former NDP leader Dominic Cardy joins PCs as strategic issues director". CBC News. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  27. "Inside the CPC leader's race". iPolitics. 27 July 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  28. "New Brunswick election: Fredericton West-Hanwell". Global News. 23 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
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