This month’s headlines:
- Canada Day and our Treaty relationships
- Our strategic planning initiative
- Our Green MLAs in action
- Committee review of glyphosate
- July 11 - World Population Day
- Fredericton MP
- COVID-19 information
Canada Day and our Treaty relationship
This year Canada Day is a time for reflection on our country’s history, in particular the relationship between Indigenous peoples and long-term and recent settlers.
Following the discovery of the remains of hundreds of children buried next to residential schools in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Indigenous leaders are calling on the New Brunswick government to conduct an investigation at the site of the former Sussex Indian School that operated until 1826. Many Indigenous people from New Brunswick are survivors of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School in Nova Scotia that operated until 1967. Sipekne'katik (Shubenacadie) First Nation is currently conducting a search using ground-penetrating radar.
In New Brunswick, we have an ongoing treaty relationship with the First Nations and all Indigenous peoples. As the first peoples in this territory, the Passamaquoddy, the Wolastoqiyik, and the Mi’kmaq nations signed Peace and Friendship Treaties with the colonial European nations. The treaties established the legal basis for the relationship between the Province of New Brunswick and First Nations peoples.
The governments of Canada and New Brunswick have never respected the historic treaties. Our Party policy states that when the Greens form the government in New Brunswick, we will recognize, respect and implement the treaties signed with First Nations as the legal basis for the relationship between the Province of New Brunswick and First Nations peoples.
The Greens would also fully implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), including #45, to repudiate the doctrines of “discovery” and “terra nullius” that were used to legitimize the colonization of Indigenous peoples in different regions of the world including New Brunswick.
For more information about Green Party NB policy on the relationship with First Nations and Indigenous peoples, consult our policy manual, HERE.
Our Strategic Planning Initiative
The Provincial Council recently approved the launch of a strategic planning initiative to identify key initiatives and strategies we will need to implement in the months and years ahead to achieve success.
Our sister PEI Green Party conducted a similar exercise in 2015. Their strategy aimed to make their Party the Official Opposition in their Legislative Assembly in Charlottetown by 2020. As you know, they achieved that goal.
The Provincial Council set up a working group with party representatives to lead this initiative. We intend to finalize the work by the end of September 2021. In the coming weeks, the working group will contact members, supporters, Registered Districts Associations and other groups to discuss and exchange ideas. Stay tuned.
Our Green MLAs in action
The Green’s Bill to Amend the Residential Tenancies Act reached Second Reading in June. It was designed to empower the government to prevent unreasonable rent increases, and restrict increases to once per year. The Green caucus secured the support of the Official Opposition, but the government members used their majority to vote it down.
June 11 was the final day of the Legislative Assembly before the summer recess. The Legislative Assembly will resume in November.
Before the recess, our Green MLAs raised many issues of concern to New Brunswickers, including renewing relations with First Nations. David Coon asked the premier if he supports a special sitting of the Legislature to hear from First Nation leaders. He also called out the premier for his lack of compassion for family members of Chantel Moore. Watch David’s intervention, HERE.
Megan Mitton spoke out about the laws and policies that actively contribute to poverty in New Brunswick. For example, the household income policy forces many people in poverty to not live with their loved ones. Watch Megan’s intervention, HERE.
Kevin Arseneau supported CUPE Local 1840, stating that the 70 stenographers, mostly women, have been without a contract since 2016 and have reached an impasse in their negotiations. He asked why the premier was continuing to impose austerity measures on public sector workers and stated that workers in New Brunswick deserve respect and fairness. Watch his intervention, HERE.
Other issues raised by our Green MLAs during the final days of the Legislature were electoral reform, the government’s rental review and the overnight closure of the Sackville Memorial Hospital emergency room on weekends this summer. You can watch videos of all the Green MLA interventions on the Green Caucus YouTube channel, HERE.
Committee review of glyphosate
Committee work continued in June even during the Legislative Assembly’s summer break. David Coon participated in the Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship committee review of glyphosate and other pesticides in New Brunswick. Throughout the week, key stakeholders and subject matter experts presented and made their recommendations. The interventions highlighted many problems created by spraying glyphosate in our forests and underlined the need to prioritize adequate habitat for wildlife, protection for streams and rivers, climate change impacts and forest diversity of age and species.The Green Caucus YouTube channel has videos of key stakeholder interventions, HERE.
July 11 - World Population Day
The purpose of the United Nations’ World Population Day is to enhance awareness of population issues and their relationship to the environment and development. This includes reproductive rights and health.
Globally, the pandemic is hitting marginalized communities particularly hard, deepening inequalities and threatening to set back efforts to leave no one behind.
The economic impacts of COVID-19 hit women harder. Women disproportionately work in insecure labour markets and worldwide, nearly 60 percent of women work in the informal economy, at greater risk of falling into poverty. Women’s unpaid care work has increased as a result of school closures and the increased needs of older people.
The Green Party of New Brunswick understands these challenges. Through our ongoing work in communities and particularly through the work of our MLAs, we act to address these issues affecting everyone in our province. All the ongoing work of our MLAs is linked to the challenges highlighted by World Population Day.
Fredericton Member of Parliament
The Green Party of Canada (GPC) suffered a setback in June when Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party of Canada. The GPC is a separate organization from the Green Party of New Brunswick but many people in this province are members of both parties. Far from being demoralized at this development, many GPC members in New Brunswick are gearing up and energized by the imminent federal election. The Fredericton EDA is now working to mobilize the GREEN machine to keep the Fredericton federal riding green! So far, at least 3 members have put their name forward as nominees to be the Green candidate in the election.
Legislative Assembly and contacting your Green MLA
Through the summer recess, Green MLAs continue to serve the needs of their constituents. Here is the link to the hours and contact details for the constituency offices of David, Megan and Kevin: greencaucusvert.ca/contact-us.
Megan is currently on maternity leave. During the last several months, Megan worked with her constituency staff to plan and prepare for this transition, so Memramcook-Tantramar constituents will be well served while she is on leave.
Best summer wishes
Finally! The warm weather has arrived, making it easier to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of our province. We wish everyone an enjoyable July. We hope you will have the chance to visit friends and relatives living across New Brunswick and the Maritimes.
The more people immunized against COVID-19, the harder it is for the virus to spread. Do your part and get fully vaccinated. To book an appointment in New Brunswick, click HERE.