FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Premier Blaine Higgs:

Earlier today, I was saddened to learn of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

On behalf of New Brunswickers, I extend to His Majesty and all members of the Royal Family our most sincere condolences.

During her many years as our country’s head of state, Canadians welcomed her into their hearts. During her reign she forged a close and lasting relationship with our country and our province. She visited Canada and New Brunswick several times during which the high regard in which New Brunswickers held her was obvious. She was a symbol of strength and resolve, a guiding light in turbulent times, and a figure of stability.

Throughout her reign, the Queen was the embodiment of selfless duty and service, and over 70 years she undertook her journey with a steadfast commitment to the Commonwealth and its people. Her unwavering dedication to her life’s work was evident.

Her reign was marked by incredible change, periods of prosperity and adversity, of peace and war – and throughout, she exuded grace while remaining a symbol of unity.

Beginning tomorrow, and for the next nine days, books of condolence will be available for members of the public to sign at Government House and at the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Information about the provincial memorial service and Accession Proclamation Ceremony will be forthcoming.

God save the King.