BILL TO END POLITICAL DONATIONS FROM CORPORATIONS AND TRADE UNIONS TO HAVE SECOND READING – 16 FEBRUARY 2017

Fredericton – Today in the Legislative Assembly, David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, will bring his amendments to the Political Process Financing Act forward for Second Reading. Bill 20, An Act to Amend the Political Process Financing Act will eliminate political donations from corporations and trade unions.

“My bill is a first step to take to end the pay-to- play culture that permeates New Brunswick politics and corrodesour democracy,” said Coon. “Corporate donations always skyrocket for the party in power, indicating that corporations see tremendous value in paying to play. This creates the perception for others, including some businesses, municipalities and voluntary organizations that they must “pay to play” for fear of missing out on a grant or contract.”

The Leader of the Green Party sees Bill 20 as the first step to eliminating corporate influence on New Brunswick politics.

New local governance legislation needs public input

Fredericton –David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, is calling on the government to invite the public to provide feedback to the Legislative Assembly on its sweeping proposals for improving local governance.

“The bills tabled today must strengthen local democracy, so citizens impacted by these changes should be given the chance to comment on the bills,” said Coon. “Government should send this bill to the Law Amendments Committee to hear from the public on the substance of the bill.”

The government has consulted with municipalities, local service districts and regional service commissions.

“Citizens and the organizations that represent them need the chance to comment on the bills to their Legislative Assembly,” said Coon.

PRIVATISING MANAGEMENT OF HOSPITAL SERVICES A MISTAKE

Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South is dismayed at the government’s move to parcel out hospital services management to Sodexo.

“The Gallant government has decided to privatize the management of our hospital services at the expense of 280 full time jobs,” said Coon. “This is a big mistake.”

British Colombia, Ontario, and Québec have privatized management of hospital services before and they have seen massive job loss, lawsuits from previously unionized workers, and higher rates of infection, including instances of superbugs like MRSA and C.difficile. Many hospitals have taken back the management of their food and cleaning services.

The move to privatize hospital services will save government between $7.9M and $9.3M. But at what cost?

“Our government just announced it is handing $8.6M to Sears,” said Coon. “We are willing to gamble with millions in corporate hand-outs, but our government will sacrifice local jobs across the province on the promise of cost savings.”

“Hospital services should be run at the hospital level and they should create good local jobs in the communities where they exist,” said Coon. “Privatization is not the answer.”

THE BALL IS IN THE PREMIER’S COURT: GREEN PARTY LEADER LOOKING FOR ACTION ON AGING STRATEGY

Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South, is pleased to see such strong recommendations in the Council on Aging’s strategy released today.

“The members of the council have done an excellent job building a transformational vision for aging in New Brunswick,” said Coon. “Now the ball is in Premier Gallant’s court to see that these recommendations are implemented in a timely fashion.”

On Tuesday, the government will table its 2017/2018 budget and in the coming weeks, Coon will have the opportunity to question departments about how they will spend money in the coming year.

“The budget should reflect the priorities in the aging strategy,” said Coon.

GREEN PARTY LEADER CALLS FOR SENIORS’ INPUT ON MANDATE OF SENIORS ADVOCATE

Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South, wants seniors to have the opportunity to shape the mandate of the new seniors’ advocate.

“Since the legislation did not provide a mandate for this new role of the Child and Youth Advocate, the Legislative Assembly should ask seniors what they think,” said Coon.

Coon wants to see the Standing Committee on Social Policy hold public hearings to receive input from seniors.

On December 16th, 2016, the Child and Youth Advocate Act was amended to extend the Child and Youth Advocate’s responsibilities to seniors, as well as to adults under protection, without specifying his exact mandate. Norm Bossé, the now re-named Child, Youth and Seniors Advocate, is an officer of the Legislature, accountable to the public through the Legislative Assembly.

“Since the amended legislation doesn’t provide any direction to Mr. Bossé, the Legislative Assembly should seek input from seniors to help him develop his new mandate. The obvious place to do this is through the social policy committee,” said Coon.

GREEN PARTY LEADER CALLS FOR REGIONAL APPROACH TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South, is urging the government to act on its commitment to assist local communities to establish and implement regional economic development plans.

“While our major cities are growing, their success does not offer solutions to our rural communities and towns, beyond drawing their young people away. In fact, many rural communities and small towns have double the unemployment rates of our cities, hovering around 15%,” said Coon. “They need to have the authority and provincial support to develop local economic strategies that build on the strengths and assets unique to their regions. You would think that’s why the Regional Development Corporation was established, but it’s clearly failing to achieve its mandate,” said Coon.

Premier Gallant’s economic growth plan launched last September promised to work with communities to develop their own regional economic development strategies. In his election platform, Premier Gallant had committed to establishing locally-led economic development agencies as well.

The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) has a legislated mandate to prepare regional development plans and to coordinate and guide regional development, though it has never done so.

RDC will appear before the Crown Corporations Committee on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 at 2:00pm to have its activities from 2012 to 2015 scrutinized by MLAs to assess the effectiveness of its spending.

“RDC has spent $267 million in public funds to support regional development over the past three years, but has it actually helped develop our rural and small town economies?” asked Coon. “I am eager to find out whether this expenditure of more than a quarter billion dollars met the regional development goals of the RDC.”

GREEN PARTY LEADER TO TOUR LOW CARBON BUILDINGS IN MONCTON

Fredericton – On Friday, January 13th, David Coon, leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South will travel to Moncton to visit buildings that have been constructed to have small carbon footprints.

“Both the provincial and federal governments have new strategies to drive the transition to a low carbon economy by attacking energy waste and adopting renewable technologies. We have very talented people in New Brunswick working in these rapidly growing sectors of our economy. I’m familiar with the Fredericton-based companies, so I am excited to visit and tour some of the buildings that Moncton firms have designed and built.”

Coon will also tour the New Brunswick Community College’s Alternate Energy Systems Lab while in Moncton.

The tours will occur at the following times and locations:
– 10:30 – Residential, 9 Generation Ave
– 3:00 – NBCC Moncton Alternate Energy Systems Lab, 1234 Mountain Rd

A STATEMENT FROM THE GREEN PARTY LEADER REGARDING RESIGNATION OF NDP LEADER

Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South issued the following statement in recognition of the resignation of Dominic Cardy, leader of the New Brunswick NDP:

“I want to wish Dominic Cardy the very best, following his resignation as the leader of the New Brunswick NDP. Our archaic first-past-the-post electoral system continues to leave too much political talent on the sidelines, all too often betraying voters who are looking for an alternative to a Legislature overwhelmingly dominated by the two old parties. I have no doubt that Dominic will continue to pursue his convictions, in the articulate and intelligent manner to which New Brunswickers have become accustomed – in whatever future endeavor he chooses.”

Green Party leader tables bill to end political donations from corporations and trade unions

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Fredericton – Today, David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, tabled a bill entitled an Act to Amend the Political Process Financing Act to eliminate political donations from corporations and trade unions.

 

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