Kevin Arseneau, incumbent candidate for Kent North and francophone lieutenant of the Green Party of New Brunswick, promised the revival of the Northern and Miramichi Funds if the party is elected, at a press conference in Robertville today.
The Green Party representative believes that the unique situation of each region of the province requires specific funding to address their particular needs. "What is being proposed is to recognize the need for an asymmetrical approach to address the particular challenges of the North, the Acadian Peninsula and Kent County," said Kevin Arseneau.
According to him, it is necessary to develop comprehensive regional development plans to ensure the full effectiveness of the funds, which must include all elements that have an impact on development such as demographics, the environment and the long-term economic development of the regions.
Mr. Arseneau insists that these development plans must be rooted in the community and in consultation with local stakeholders: "We must put an end to Fredericton's paternalism and political interference and stop centralizing development decisions. Our regions need support and it is crucial that these funds be administered in a transparent and community-based manner". The use of the various regional funds will be guided by these development plans and with clear criteria. "We want to stop simply throwing money around and hoping for a miracle to happen. We need a solid plan. A green vote is a vote for your region." He added.
The Green candidate for Restigouche-Chaleur, Marie Larivière, agrees: "Regional development plans are essential to take into account the demographics, environmental issues and economic challenges facing northern communities - free from political interference. The Green Party wants to bring power back to the regions. That's how we're going to build our economy. "