Hearings Needed on the New Economy

Premier David Alward
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1

Dear Premier Alward:

In the spirit of collaboration, I wish to propose an approach to developing a long-term strategy for economic development for our province.

As we know, the economy is moribund, the joblessness rate is high, inequality has been growing, and ecological decline is accelerating. None of these problems has been caused by any particular actions initiated by your government or the former government. Rather they are challenges shared by much of the developed world today. The era of economic growth fuelled by cheap oil is over. Climate change limits the growth that is dependent on the increasing use of fossil fuels.

Our economy has changed fundamentally and providing sustainable livelihoods for New Brunswickers requires a new approach. There is a new economy growing within the shell of the old one here in New Brunswick.   It is primarily local and it is one where individuals are increasingly creating their own enterprises. To a very great extent, these initiatives are green, that is, they are low impact and they contribute to the transition we need to make towards a low-carbon, low ecological footprint economy. We need to learn how to best support those people who are already engaged in building the new economy, and encourage others to do the same.

I propose that an all-party Select Committee on the New Economy be created to hold hearings across New Brunswick into our future economic prospects. In keeping with your commitment to find ways for political parties without representation in the Legislative Assembly to contribute positively to the business of the House, I request that you consider including the leaders of those parties or their designates as non-voting members of the committee.

The economic shift we are experiencing poses such a significant challenge to the future well-being of New Brunswickers that I believe all parties must work together to develop a long-term strategy to transition to the new economy. I, on behalf of the Green Party, am fully prepared to participate in this work.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours truly

David Coon
Leader, Green Party of New Brunswick


cc: Brian Gallant, Liberal Party Leader
     Dominic Cardy, NDP Leader
     Kris Austin, People's Alliance Leader