Green Party Leader launches 3-part educational video series on International Day of Democracy

Fredericton – On Friday, September 15th, the International Day of Democracy, David Coon, leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South, will officially launch his educational video series: Legicate Yourself.

“Most people don’t understand that the main function of our provincial parliament, the Legislative Assembly, is to exercise control over government action. It is the seat of our democracy, and the one institution designed to ensure political accountability. To ensure the Legislature is effectively carrying out this mandate, it is essential that New Brunswickers understand how our parliamentary system of democracy is supposed to function. That is why I produced this video series,” said Coon.

Legicate Yourself is a light-hearted, educational three part video series created by St. Thomas University social work students during the fall of 2016 as part of their social action internship in Coon’s office. Coon is promoting the series to middle and high school principals and vice principals across the province as an educational resource available to teachers.

The series examines:

  1. What is the role of a MLA: https://youtu.be/q15NuI7f7wY 
  2. What is the Legislative Assembly?: https://youtu.be/tkNmX43Dnp8 
  3. What are Legislative Committees?: https://youtu.be/OaIcBHBgIqM  

Reckless Restructuring of our Public Health Program Threatens our Health and Economy

Written by Marilyn Merritt-Gray, Candidate in Gagetown-Petitcodiac

The Liberal Health Minister Victor Boudreau’s plan to dramatically restructure New Brunswick’s Public Health Program flies in the face of advice from Canadian Public Health experts and poses a significant threat to our health and our economy.

An Editorial in the Canadian Journal of Public Health (2017) penned by seven Public Health leaders from across the country, expressed alarm at the “growing weakness in the country’s Public Health infrastructure” and suggests “we are at a crisis point”. The experts identify 4 key problems with current government structural approaches to Public Health that when taken together constitute a crisis. The Health Minister’s announced plan to organizationally restructure the office of the NB Chief Officer of Health, effective immediately, will target and threatens to make worse, each of the problem areas identified by these experts.

These experts are calling for the Office of the Chief Medical Health officer to have the same level of authority and independence as provincial Auditor Generals. They are calling for governments to ‘ringfence’ Public Health staff and thereby not integrate them with other departments and or primary care health programs. They are calling for governments to raise the level of health funding designated exclusively to public health services. The Minister’s announcement last week is in direct opposition to this advice and thereby threatens New Brunswick’s health and economic security.

Should we as New Brunswickers care about this? Is Public Health Programming really that important? Why? History has taught us that nothing can dismantle an economy and population faster than a public health crisis; take Toronto’s experience with SARS fifteen years ago and the more recent Zika crisis in Brazil.

Public health programs have existed in Canada and New Brunswick since before 1900, initially targeting Cholera, sanitation issues, Small Pox, and Typhoid. Public health policy then shifted to Influenzas, maternal and child health, nutritional and food safety, tuberculosis, auto accidents and tobacco. Then in the 1950s public health programs shifted again to cover environmental contamination and birth control, while still dealing with persistent and evolving infectious diseases. Public health has always focused on the health of full populations, staying ahead of health threats, ensuring public health emergency preparedness and response, and in recent years, increased focus has needed to highlight and address population health inequities and environmental health risks. In order to do this work a specialized team of health professionals is needed and they need to have the capacity to not only advise but redirect Ministerial government decisions at a time of crisis.

Canadian experts call for 4-5% of every provincial Health budget to be devoted to public health programing. Back in 2014 New Brunswick devoted less than 2% of its Health funding to these programs. Minister Boudreau says his plan for restructuring will not reduce resources further, however as time passes normal attrition may result in increased departmental ‘efficiencies’.

With public health programs underfunded it is now more important than ever for existing services to remain centralized in order to work effectively as a highly expert and nimble planning and operational team. A surgeon cannot perform surgery efficiently and effectively without a well-resourced, devoted specialty team of health professionals. In the same way that the surgeon relies on specialized surgical nurses and anesthetists, so too does the Chief Medical Officer of Health rely on the specialized efforts of public health personnel. The shift toward integrating these staff into other departments jeopardizes the viability of the specialty team to do its work.

So why would the Liberal government recommend such a dramatic restructuring of the NB public health programs operated by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health? The Minister says the restructuring is not being done to save money. So why do this to an already under resourced department? The move could be a symptom of the Liberal government ideology, taking the advice of an administrative consultant, over the advice of professional experts. It could be a step to reduce the mandate of the office before making the Chief Medical Officer independent from government. No matter the reason for the restructuring this is a bad decision for New Brunswickers, posing a significant threat to our health and economy.

Marilyn Merritt-Gray is a nurse and lifelong advocate for rural health services. She is the Green Party Candidate for Gagetown-Petitcodiac

John Sabine: Vice-chairman of the SNB Forest Products Marketing Board acclaimed by party members in Hampton

Hampton – John Sabine will be the Green candidate for the riding of Hampton in next year’s election.  He received the unanimous support of local Green party members at last night’s nomination meeting at the Hampton Curling Club.

'' I am pleased that John will be running as a Green for a second time. He is committed to his community and is a tireless advocate for rural New Brunswick in fighting the injustice on behalf of woodlot owners in southern New Brunswick," said David Coon, leader of the Green party and MLA for Fredericton South. "The people of Hampton would be well served by John Sabine as their MLA."

John Sabine had this to say about his nomination: “ New Brunswickers deserve an open, honest and transparent government. Not the self-serving, patronage filled corruption we have been receiving for decades by successive Liberal and Conservative governments.'' 
''I will work hard with you to achieve real and positive change for a better New Brunswick for all,"  said Sabine.

Sabine is the third Green party candidate to be nominated. The next nomination meeting will occur on September 18th at the St. Croix Vineyard Church in St. Stephen. Media Advisory to follow. 

Media Contact:

CARMEN BUDILEAN, 
Executive director | Directrice exécutive
Phone : (506) 447-8499 | Fax (506) 447-8489

Media Advisory - Vice-chairman of the SNB Forest Products Marketing Board is seeking nomination in Hampton

Fredericton - The nomination meeting for the Hampton riding will take place on September 7th from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Hampton Curling Club, located at 48 Cemetary Rd, Hampton, E5N 3B2David Coon, leader of the Green Party and MLA for Fredericton South, will be present to support the nominee. 

John Sabine is seeking the nomination for the Hampton riding. He is presently vice president of the Hampton Curling Club, vice chairman of the SNB Forest Products Marketing Board and Secretary of the N.B. Federation of woodlot owners. John has always been an active community volunteer and in 2002 was awarded the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal for community service. Read more:
http://www.greenpartynb.ca/27_hampton

If you have any question feel free to call us.

CARMEN BUDILEAN, 
Executive director | Directrice exécutive
Phone : (506) 447-8499 | Fax (506) 447-8489

Marilyn Merritt-Gray: A Strong Voice for Gagetown-Petitcodiac

Gagetown – Kars resident, Marilyn Merritt-Gray, will be the Green candidate for the riding of Gagetown-Petitcodiac in next year’s election.  She received the unanimous support of local Green party members at last night’s nomination meeting at the Gagetown Legion.

“Marilyn has dedicated her career to working with, and for, the people of this province particularly in promoting  mental health, women’s health, rural health service delivery and community development,” said David Coon, leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick. “Marilyn is a staunch advocate for rural communities and has the courage and convictions needed to make her an excellent representative for the people of Gagetown-Petitcodiac.”

Merritt-Gray had this to say about her nomination: “I am grateful to those who lent me their support at last night’s meeting and I am eager to continue travelling my home riding, meeting with my neighbours and hearing their concerns and ideas for New Brunswick. I’m glad to hold the nomination for a party that has a real plan to support and empower rural communities, like mine.”

Merritt-Gray is the second Green party candidate to be nominated. The next nomination meeting will occur on September 7th at the Hampton Curling Club. Media Advisory to follow. 

Media Contact:

CARMEN BUDILEAN, 
Executive director Directrice exécutive
Phone : (506) 447-8499 | Fax (506) 447-8489

 

Green Party Leader David Coon to Welcome Elizabeth May to Moncton

Fredericton – Green party leader and MLA for Fredericton South, David Coon will be welcoming federal Green party leader and Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands, Elizabeth May to Moncton on Monday August 28, 2017.  

“I am looking forward to hosting Elizabeth May in Moncton on Monday, to hear New Brunswickers’ thoughts about the future of our province and our country,” said Coon. 

You can find Elizabeth May and David Coon on Monday, August 28th at:

12:00-1:00 Moncton Chamber of Commerce presents Elizabeth May - Distinguished Speaker Series: Supporting small businesses and building the new economy
The Crown Plaza, 1005 Main St., Moncton

1:00-1:30 – Media Availability
The Crown Plaza, 1005 Main St., Moncton

7:00-8:00 – Public Town Hall with Elizabeth May and David Coon
Lions Community Centre, 473 St. George St., Moncton

 

Champion for rural services seeking nomination in Gagetown-Petitcodiac

 

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Fredericton, August 24th, 2017

Media Advisory - Champion for rural services seeking nomination in Gagetown-Petitcodiac

Fredericton - The nomination meeting for the Gagetown- Petitcodiac riding will take place on August 29th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion, located at 81 Tilley Rd, Gagetown, E5M 1B3David Coon, leader of the Green Party and MLA for Fredericton South, will be present to support the nominees. 

Seeking nomination for Gagetown-Petitcodiac, Marilyn Merritt-Gray who is a nurse with deep roots in the community. She is passionate about changing the way we do politics, particularly as it relates to small business and rural realities. For more about Marilyn please visit: 
http://www.greenpartynb.ca/gagetown_petitcodiac

If you have any question feel free to call us.

CARMEN BUDILEAN, 
Executive director | Directrice exécutive
Phone : (506) 447-8499 | Fax (506) 447-8489

Statement by the Green Party Leader on National Acadian Day

Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South made the following statement in recognition of New Brunswick Day:

August 15th is a time for Acadians to celebrate the society they have built despite their difficult history. It is a day for Acadian families to show their pride, and for all New Brunswickers to celebrate together. 

In the 21st century, Acadians are playing an important role in the province by taking on the challenges caused for rural communities by globalization, deindustrialization, and climate change. The pursuit of food sovereignty, renewable energy, and the creation of new institutions and innovative businesses are examples of the extraordinary vitality of Acadians in New Brunswick.

Happy Acadian Day!

Statement by the Green Party Leader on New Brunswick Day

 

Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South made the following statement in recognition of New Brunswick Day:

“New Brunswick Day is a time to reflect on what we share in common, living together in such a beautiful and secure part of the world. Our treaties of peace and friendship, and our constitution embody our obligations to one another. Our friendships, our kinships and our communities bind us to one another, and encourage mutual support. Our interdependence strengthens us and enables us to welcome newcomers seeking safe refuge and new beginnings.

It is our obligation to each other to be community-minded and engaged citizens. It is the glue that can bind us together as we grapple with the challenges we face, and with imperative to find our way to reconciliation among those of us whose families have arrived in the last 400 years with the indigenous peoples who have lived on this land for millennia. 

We are creative, congenial and generous peoples. If we believe in ourselves, in our capacity to support each other, while respecting our differences, we will create the future we want for our children.  

As New Brunswickers, we want to be in the driver seat, not taken for a ride. And we want to be well-served by our governments. As an MLA and the leader of the Green Party, I take my responsibility to serve seriously. As we approach the final year of this Legislature, let me restate my commitment to be a voice for those who are not heard, and to make positive changes for all. Happy New Brunswick Day!

The Rural Lynx transportation project

The Green Party of New Brunswick applauds the move by the province to invest $500,000 over two years to help fund the Rural Lynx transportation project.

The plan for a rural transportation network to serve southwestern New Brunswick has been spearheaded by former Saint Andrews mayor Stan Choptiany, who worked with representatives from community groups such as Charlotte Dial-A-Ride, Vibrant Communities Charlotte County and representatives from area municipalities to gather information, form a business plan, and then seek funding.

Community surveys conducted by the The Southwest New Brunswick Transport Authority Inc. showed a great need for a transport system in the region, and employers in the region also expressed support.

The project demonstrates the tremendous power of community-driven leadership and is a good first step towards assisting the rural poor while offering an environmentally friendly alternative to single-passenger vehicle transport.

The Green Party of New Brunswick hopes Rural Lynx becomes a model for other ventures in the province.

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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