Green Party would establish a new department to promote rural economic development
Leader David Coon joined local farmers and forest workers today, releasing the Green Party rural protection plan.
“For too long, governments have pursued economic development out of Fredericton, by degrading our natural resources around the province and giving hand-outs to large, profitable corporations,” said Coon. “I’m proud to say that a Green government would flip this model on its head – we need to protect our lands and forests, end the natural resource giveaway, and make financing available to small and medium-sized businesses, invested in their local economies.”
Coon says the Green Party plans for expanding sustainable agriculture and implementing a local food strategy with aggressive targets for increasing the local food production to replace imports.
“To grow our economy, we have to use the talent and the resources we have here and stop giving away our valuable natural resources,” says Coon. “Crown forests – those controlled by the provincial government - are a public trust and must be managed in a way that upholds treaty obligations to First Nations, provides sustainable livelihoods and economic opportunities for forest-dependent communities, and maintains the ecological integrity of the forest.”
To protect and grow rural communities the Green Party platform includes commitments to:
- Consolidate the various economic development agencies into a Department of Community and Rural Development.
- Simplify the establishment of Community Economic Development Investment Funds and make them eligible for investments from RRSPs and TFSAs – to facilitate access to investment funds for local enterprises.
- Implement a local food strategy with measurable targets.
- Develop a bio-economy strategy - bioenergy, bioplastics, and biochemicals - that would sustainably utilize renewable resources from our forests, farms and fisheries, including their processing wastes.
- Increase in-province tourism by maintaining and restoring covered bridges and river ferries.
- Immediately cancel the 25-year forestry contracts signed by the Alward government in 2014 and return softwood from private woodlots as the primary source of supply to the mills.
- Give farmers greater power in the marketplace by supporting marketing cooperatives and supply management systems and support education and training opportunities for new farmers.
The full platform can be found here: https://indd.adobe.com/view/bed666ce-15d5-472c-ae5b-a9158e7f5e56
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Media Contact: Shannon Carmont
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