03 SEPTEMBER 2014
(Fredericton) - David Coon, leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, released the party's election platform today outside the Legislative Assembly
The comprehensive, costed platform presents the Green Party's vision for a sustainable and fair New Brunswick. It commits to bringing about changes that would make politics more democratic and people-friendly, shake up the corporate control of our province, and create green jobs - based on making New Brunswick more economically self-reliant, less dependent on fossil fuels, rebuilding forestry, and commercialising the green technologies and processes being developed in our universities.
The platform offers the Green Party's commitments on poverty reduction, delivering preventative and accessible health care, ensuring children can reach their full potential in the school system, and rebuilding our relationship with First Nations.
"On the doorsteps and on the street, people tell me they are tired of the same old politics -- the broken promises, the back room deals and the old boys' club. Our platform is a breath of fresh air blowing across New Brunswick," says Coon.
"The other parties have a shopping list of promises that would commit New Brunswick to a future that looks just like the past. David Alward would tie us to sunset industries, extracting fossil fuels and clear cutting Crown forests. Brian Gallant would spend buckets of money to build more roads. It hasn't worked in the past. The people of New Brunswick deserve new ideas."
"This province has the talent, the values, and the means to change," says Coon. "The Green Party provides the political leadership and vision to make that change happen."
The Green Party platform sketches out some bold and innovative moves to build a sustainable and fairer future for the people of New Brunswick, including commitments to:
• Implement an import replacement strategy to encourage more local production of goods and services to create jobs in New Brunswick
• Assist homeowners and businesses to cut their energy costs by restoring and expanding the ability of Efficiency New Brunswick to provide incentives and assistance.
• Legislate a Renewable Energy Act to lessen New Brunswick's dependence on fossil fuels, supplying 100% of our electricity from renewable sources within 20 years. The Green Party will cancel shale gas exploration licenses and leases for shale gas extraction.
• Enact a new Crown Lands and Forests Sustainabilty Act and cancel the contracts signed by the Alward government with forestry companies that guarantee an unsustainable increase in wood supply and exclusive access to forest resources for the next 25 years.
• Index the minimum wage to the rate of inflation and replace it over four years with a living wage, so that anyone working full-time will earn enough to stay out of poverty.
• Finance school meal and wellness programs with a tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks raising $15 million per year.
• Accelerate the development of community health centres to provide collaborative care and rapid access, focusing on prevention, and ending the costly use of hospitals to provide primary health care.
• Ensure everyone pays their fair share to finance the public services we need by increasing the corporate income tax rate from 12% to 16%, the rate charged in Nova Scotia and PEI, to raise $68 million per year. Require government to post the income tax paid by corporations in New Brunswick.
• Establish border tolls on commercial traffic entering and leaving New Brunswick. The financial benefit to New Brunswick is unknown because the Department of Finance refused to provide its revenue projections.
• Shift power from the Premier's office back to the Legislature and to MLAs.
• Become an ally to First Nations in their dealings with Ottawa and legislate the duty to consult in compliance with Canada's Supreme Court