17 MAY 2016
Premier Brian Gallant
Premier Wade MacLauchlin
Premier Stephen McNeil
Premier Dwight Ball
Disparity between the Atlantic provinces and the rest of Canada continues. Successive governments in Ottawa have historically made particular choices in public policy, industrial subsidies and infrastructure spending that have strengthened Québec, Ontario and the West to the detriment of Atlantic Canada. However, the new imperative to move toward a carbon-free economy provides our region with the opportunity to secure the collective well-being and livelihoods of our people and communities for generations to come.
Our four provinces are blessed with an abundance of renewable energy resources.
We have the opportunity to become the first region in Canada to build a society and an economy where fossil fuels play a shrinking role, to be replaced with renewable energy sources. Former PEI Premier Alex Campbell had this vision for PEI in the 1970’s, but like many true visionaries, he was a man before his time. Everything has its time, and that time has now come to the Maritimes and to Newfoundland and Labrador. However, to breathe life into this economic transformation will require all four Provinces to collaborate in a way that we have not seen since the Atlantic Revolution of the 1950’s, when our predecessors formed a formidable political force to better the economic conditions of our entire region.
Our attachment to place, whether Indigenous or Settler, is unshakeable. Our sense of community is renowned. The unique treaty relationship we have with First Nations and the imperative for reconciliation, presents a unique opportunity to approach social and economic development in new ways which strengthen all our communities.
July 9th, 2016 marks the 60 anniversary of the very first Conference of Atlantic Premiers which launched the “Atlantic Revolution” bringing about a new relationship with Ottawa that enabled a new approach to social and economic development throughout Atlantic Canada.
As leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, I urge you to convene a special meeting of the Council of Atlantic Premiers this summer to agree on a new path to the future that seeks reconciliation with First Nations and equal opportunity for all to benefit from a renewables revolution in Atlantic Canada.
MLA, Fredericton South
Leader, Green Party of New Brunswick