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Frank McKenna

Born in Apohaqui, New Brunswick in 1948, Frank McKenna is a lawyer and politician. After earning his B.A. from St. Francis Xavier University in 1970 and enrolling in post-graduate studies at Queen’s University in 1970–1971, he attended the University of New Brunswick, graduating with an LL. B. in 1974. He practised law at Chatham, New Brunswick, before entering provincial politics as a Liberal member of the legislature in 1982. In 1985, McKenna was elected leader of New Brunswick’s Liberal Party and, in 1987, won all 58 seats in the legislature, becoming Premier with no official Opposition. In office, McKenna attempted to reduce New Brunswick’s public debt by streamlining its civil service, limiting spending on social programs and aggressively promoting the province’s attractions to potential investors. McKenna’s cuts to health care through hospital closures and reduced services led to accusations that he was a Conservative in disguise and lacked proper concern for the seniors suffering under his cuts. By resigning in 1997, McKenna honoured a promise made to remain in office for 10 years only. His successors have all attempted to improve health services in New Brunswick through participation in the federal health care accords.

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