In The Right Fight: Bernard Lord and the Conservative
Dilemma, CBC reporter Jacques Poitras provides a journalist's
account of how Bernard Lord rose to the top in provincial politics
and why his path could lead to Ottawa.
The clean sweep of Frank McKenna's Liberals in 1987 shook the
foundations of the New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Party,
but election night 1991 utterly shattered the Tory dream. As
expected, the Liberals won a second majority, but the fervently
anti-bilingualism Confederation of Regions (COR) Party formed the
official Opposition. For the first time in a hundred years, the
Conservatives were out in the cold, victims of vote-splitting on
In The Right Fight, Jacques Poitras reveals that,
although drug and other scandals plagued Richard Hatfield's final
years as premier, equally fatal was Hatfield's insistence on
English-French equality within his party. It ruptured the already
uneasy coalition he'd built and sent old-style Tories flocking into
It took the unexpected arrival of Bernard Lord, young and
untried, to lead a dramatic reversal in the party's fortunes.
Luring COR members back into the Conservative fold while
maintaining the Red Tory base so carefully cultivated by Hatfield,
Lord reunited the party and won back-to-back majority governments.
Because of his success, Bernard Lord was vigorously and publicly
courted as a potential leader of the new federal Conservative Party
by backroom movers and shakers.
In this revealing look at the 25-year struggle over language in
New Brunswick, Jacques Poitras shows where Bernard Lord comes from
and what challenges remain before him.