The Green Party says that New Brunswick's spiralling debt highlighted in the Auditor General's report should be a reality check for New Brunswickers and political leaders alike.
"The numbers in Ms. MacPherson's annual report reflect the reality that we live in an era of slow growth. Our governments have refused to recognize this fact over the last decade," said David Coon, Leader of the Green Party.
"Our system is premised on a high rate of growth, but this is finished, so we must adjust to the new low growth reality," said Coon.
"The Conservatives and Liberals continue to spoon feed us the Pablum that they can fix things by growing the economy, but those days are over," said Coon. "The priority must be to figure out how we adjust to the low growth reality while continuing to provide health care, education, transportation and social services to New Brunswickers. That's where the new green economy comes into its own," he said.
Last week, the Auditor General described the growth in the provincial debt as "very disturbing". New Brunswick's debt has increased 63 percent since 2007, creating the second highest net debt in Canada. New Brunswick's net debt now exceeds $11 billion, growing by a billion dollars last year.
The Green Party says the future of New Brunswick depends on democratically engaging New Brunswickers to build the critical mass of new ideas and new approaches that are essential to successfully adjusting to the low growth reality.
"Instead, the current government is foolishly pretending that New Brunswick can become Alberta by irresponsibly exploiting our remaining natural resources. It's a nice story, but nothing in it resembles reality," said Coon.