Leader's House Diary

By David CoonFebruary 16, 2015February 16th marks the 133rd birthday of the New Brunswick Legislature. Andrew Blair was Premier, best known for his success in abolishing the unelected Legislative Council to fully realize responsible government in New Brunswick.History is represented everywhere in the chamber. Gigantic portraits of King George III and Queen Charlotte hang on either side of the throne (yes, like all parliaments there is a Throne for the Queen should she visit, though it is generally occupied by the Speaker). It was King George III who severed Sunbury County from Nova Scotia to create the colony of New Brunswick, which explains the prominence of their portraits. Continue reading

The Way Ahead

By David Coon Last Friday, David Alward characterized the efforts of citizens to prevent fracking as gaining a beachhead to defeat his economic agenda. On Saturday he increased the rhetoric, asking us to choose between chaos and the rule of law in next year's election. Seriously? David Alward's plan to increase our economic dependence on the oil and gas sector is out of step with the times. In the face of the inevitable consequences of fracking for people and the environment, set against the back drop of the deepening climate crisis, it's an economic strategy based on plunder and pollution. Growing numbers of New Brunswickers are saying no more. We've seen that movie and we're not going to rerun it again. Continue reading

Facing Reality

Pinch me, but I am sure it is 2013, not 1974. The obsession of government after government with economic development by energy megaproject in New Brunswick goes back to 1974 when Richard Hatfield announced he was going to build Point Lepreau, the first of many planned nuclear reactors to be put in the service of powering the American economy. Now it's David Alward who is singing the praises of fracking for shale gas to fuel the American economy. Enough! Continue reading

Time to Pull the Plug on Shale Gas Exploration

How many arrests will it take before Premier David Alward recognizes that he does not have the consent of New Brunswickers to allow the exploitation of shale gas? The people of this province have tried everything to communicate this to the Premier. It started with meetings with MLAs, letter-writing to cabinet ministers, and the presentation of the largest petition ever tabled in the Legislative Assembly. These fell on deaf ears, so there have been rallies, a massive march through Fredericton, and weekly protests outside the Premier's office last fall. Associations representing family doctors and seniors, have joined their voices with a number of municipal councils, environmental organizations and unions to call for a stop to shale gas exploration. All the political parties, except for the Conservatives, either want a moratorium or an outright ban on shale gas exploitation. Yet Premier David Alward has refused to hit the pause button. Continue reading

Why Shale Gas is Out of Bounds

When we are children our parents establish boundaries or limits on our behaviour to keep us and the kids we play with safe, and to teach us to become responsible adults. Such limits exist in the broader world too. As long as we mind the boundaries we will be safe, but when we ignore them, we get hurt. Our atmosphere and oceans can only absorb and recycle so much of the carbon pollution created when we burn gas, oil and coal. When the volume of pollutants exceeds these limits they disrupt our climate and acidify our oceans. This has begun. Continue reading

Forget the Pipe Dream

Frank McKenna and David Alward are touting the pipeline carrying bitumen from the tar sands to the Port of Saint John as our latest route to economic salvation. Who gets the benefits? A pipeline would deliver most of its benefits to the oil companies seeking world prices for their bitumen and wishing to expand their tar sands mines, to the banks who invest in them, and to the Government of Alberta who would reap the royalties. Once it is built, we are left with a few jobs to monitor leaks, we are left with the risks of a bitumen spill into our waterways, and we are left with a 400 km long narrow clearcut needed to thread the pipeline through New Brunswick. Continue reading

Restore Income and Corporate Taxes to 2008 Levels

January 29, 2013 As Finance Minister Blaine Higgs tours the province on his pre-budget consultations, his government remains in denial. They pretend that our deficit problem will go away as long as they just do what they and the Liberals have always done: chip away at government programs and services, while lowering taxes, on the mistaken conviction that this will magically drive growth and create new revenue. The Liberals used this as the rationale for the reckless tax changes they made in their 2009 budget. Hundreds of millions of dollars needed for health care, education and social services were lost with the cuts to personal income and corporate taxes. They pretended that lower taxes would create growth and tax revenue. It didn't. It did mean we had to borrow money to pay for the tax cuts. Continue reading

Musing on Democracy

January 2013By David Coon I have been observing the daily sittings of the Legislative Assembly during Question Period and the tabling of bills so I would be well informed about the issues before our Legislature, and prepared to comment on them from the perspective of the Green Party. After attending the Legislative Assembly during its fall sitting, I came away with the feeling that our democracy is in more trouble than any of us imagined. I got the sense the members are just going through the motions - performers in a production that lost its audience long ago. Continue reading

Hearings Needed on the New Economy

Premier David AlwardP.O. Box 6000Fredericton, NBE3B 5H1 Dear Premier Alward: Continue reading

The New Economy

It is time that David Alward abandon the fruitless effort to expand the old economy. It's just too expensive to run anymore. It is time to grow the new economy in New Brunswick. The new economy is local, it is green, and it works for people, not the other way around. It's an economy based on caring and sharing. It's localization, not globilization.   It builds on New Brunswick's strengths, keeping money and investment cycling through the provincial economy, rather than having it leave the province. Continue reading

Our Principles

>Living within Our Ecological Means

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Local Self-Reliance

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Real Democracy

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Social Justice and Equality

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Active Citizenship

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> A Culture of Peace and Respect

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

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