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Richard Hatfield

Born in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Richard Bennett Hatfield (1931–1991) was a lawyer and politician. After earning his B.A. from Acadia University in 1952 and an LL.B. from Dalhousie University in 1956, Hatfield was called to the Nova Scotia bar in 1957. Hatfield’s legal career was brief, as he left his practice to be executive assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce from 1957 to 1958. Next came a short term in the family potato chip business (1958–1966), during which time Hatfield entered provincial politics as the Conservative for Carleton County. He represented this riding from 1961 until his retirement in 1987. Hatfield won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1969 and became Premier of New Brunswick in 1970. As Premier, Hatfield maintained and developed the policies of official bilingualism and equal opportunity that his predecessor Louis Robichaud had promoted, and attempted to foster economic growth by supporting the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant and development of the Bricklin car, among other ventures. His government faced the rising costs of medicare in the 1970s, and introduced the first round of service cuts as Established Programs Financing limited federal transfer payments (as Josh Beutel’s editorial cartoons so pointedly illustrate).




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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010