News

  • Green Party leader tables a motion to launch alcohol harm reduction campaign

    Posted by · November 01, 2017 9:30 AM

    Fredericton - David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South, is insisting that the government, in partnership with NB Liquor, implement a comprehensive strategy aimed at alcohol harm reduction.

    “We have been increasing the availability and visibility of alcohol in our province, with the appearance hard liquor amongst chips and skittles in our convenience stores” says Coon. “The Department of Health NB Liquor is neither tracking the effects of, nor implementing a public awareness campaign to address this increased availability.”

    On October 31st Coon tabled a motion urging that the government, in partnership with NB Liquor, adopt a comprehensive strategy aimed at reducing alcohol harm that involves regulating prices, limiting the physical availability of alcohol and a public awareness campaign that promotes responsible alcohol consumption.

    “Alcohol is the leading cause of injury and death in Canada,” said Coon. “Excessive drinking bears numerous known health risks including certain types of cancer. In 2012 it was found that 20.5% of alcohol consumers in New Brunswick exceeded the chronic alcohol drinking guidelines. It’s time our government prioritise the health of New Brunswickers and develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol related disease and death in the province.”

  • Green party leader wants people to be able to participate in the work of the People’s House

    Posted by · October 27, 2017 10:29 AM

    Fredericton - David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South, is urging the government to support his motions to give the Committees of the Legislature greater authority and autonomy. 

    “Our legislative committees currently lack the necessary authority to fulfill the mandates the Legislative Assembly gave them years ago. Whether it is examining the spending of public money by government departments, reviewing proposed legislation, or ensuring the recommendations of Legislative Officers such as the Child, Youth and Seniors Advocate, our committees are hamstrung,” said Coon.

    Today, Coon tabled two motions. First, he wants members of the Legislature to give committees the authority to call for persons, papers, and documents.

    “Just like most other parliaments in Canada, our legislative committees should have the ability to hear testimony from the public, representatives of groups, experts or public official to help us in our work to make laws, develop policy proposals, and recommend improvements to expenditure of public moneys by government departments,” said Coon.

    Secondly, he tabled a motion that would mandate Legislative Officers, other than the Auditor General, to present their annual reports, and special reports containing recommendations, to the Standing Committee on Procedures, Privileges and Legislative Officers.

    “The Standing Committee on Public Accounts is responsible for following up on the implementation of the recommendations made by the Auditor General, but at the moment, recommendations made by other Legislative Officers, such as the Child, Youth and Seniors Advocate, go nowhere. I believe the Standing Committee Responsible for Legislative Officers should be mandated to receive and follow-up on the reports and recommendations of all the other legislative officers,” said Coon.

    “It is my hope that these motions receive the support of government and that we see them passed by the Legislature this session,” said Coon.

  • Green Party Leader tables bill to restore some fairness to property tax assessments

    Posted by · October 25, 2017 1:20 PM

    Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South started the legislative session by tabling a bill to restore some fairness to property tax assessments.

    If adopted, Coon’s bill to amend the Assessment Act would remove the exemption for crude oil storage tanks, as well as for industrial machinery and equipment in heavy industry.

    “The exemption for crude oil storage tanks was created in response to the 1979 oil crisis, which ended decades ago,” said Coon. “And a recent report prepared for the Saint John Common Council indicated that removing exemptions for heavy industry on machinery and equipment would ensure it pays its fair share of property taxes.

    “For example, property tax revenue from heavy industry in Saint John represents only 8% of its tax base. The Saint John Regional Hospital pays almost twice the property tax paid by the refinery. The McAllister Mall pays far more property tax than the Irving pulp and paper mill. The Conference Board of Canada found that New Brunswick has one of lowest burdens of net business taxes in the country,” said Coon

    Listen up David Coon's Questions on Property Tax#NB https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6kasAiRmy0

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  • Autism Awareness Month

    Posted by · October 17, 2017 10:30 AM

     

    Le français suit
    18 October 2017

    For Immediate Release

    Statement by the Green Party Leader during Autism Awareness Month

    Fredericton – David Coon, Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South made the following statement in recognition of Autism Awareness Month:

    “Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological disorder estimated to affect one in 94 children in Canada between six to nineyears old, and those numbers are rising. New Brunswick is known for its inclusive education and early behavioral intervention for pre-school aged children with ASD. The problem is that when youth leave the public school system, the services they have been provided drop off.”

    “October is Autism Awareness Month. It is the perfect time to remind our government that we need to be investing in affordable, specialized support for adults with autism.”

    -30-

     

    Media Contact: Shannon Carmont
    506.478.7781
    [email protected]

  • Donna Linton: Coordinator of the Volunteer Centre of Charlotte County elected by the members in St. Croix

    Posted by · October 04, 2017 9:00 AM

    Saint Stephen, October 3rd, 2017

    Press release

    Saint Stephen – Donna Linton will be the Green candidate for the riding of Saint Croix in next year’s election.  She is been elected by the local Green party members at last night’s nomination meeting at the St. Croix Vineyard Church.

    '' Donna Linton has spent much of her career serving families in Charlotte County, and they know she will bring her profound commitment to them to the Legislative Assembly as their MLA," said David Coon, leader of the Green party and MLA for Fredericton South. 

    Donna had this to say about her nomination: ''
    Thank you for coming out and showing your support tonight, I am grateful for the opportunity to accept this nomination. I believe it will be an awe-inspiring experience to run in the next Provincial Election, especially knowing that community-minded folks like yourselves are all on my team!"

    Donna Linton is the fifth Green party candidate to be nominated. The next nomination meeting will occur on November 20th at the Kinsmen Club of Fredericton. Media Advisory to follow. 

    Media Contact:

    CARMEN BUDILEAN, 
    Executive director | Directrice exécutive
    Phone : (506) 447-8499 | Fax (506) 447-8489

     

  • Wayne Dryer, strong voice for fair taxation elected by party members in Saint John Harbour

    Posted by · September 28, 2017 9:12 AM

    Saint John, September 27th, 2017

    Press release

    Wayne Dryer, strong voice for fair taxation elected by party members in Saint John Harbour 

    Saint John– Wayne Dryer will be the Green candidate for the riding of Saint John Harbour in next year’s election.  He won last night’s nomination meeting at the Social Enterprise Hub.

    '' Wayne Dryer has devoted his life to serving others.  All people of St. John Harbour will have a real voice in the Legislative Assembly should the choose Wayne as their representative, and in doing so they will have elected a true parliamentarian, " said David Coon, leader of the Green party and MLA for Fredericton South. 

    Wayne Dryer had this to say about his nomination: '' The Green Party is a principled, revolutionary movement that has its roots in its concern with the environment. It has evolved into a party that recognizes that you cannot take care of the environment without making fundamental changes to the very democratic process through which these decisions about the environment are being made. The Green Party is about doing politics differently.'' 

    Ryan Lanigan our second nominee congratulated Dryer. "Thank you to everyone who attended this evening and showed their support; it was greatly appreciated. Congratulations to Wayne and I look forward to working with you and David in preparation for 2018." 

    Dryer is the fourth Green party candidate to be nominated. The next nomination meeting will occur on October 3th at the St. Croix Vineyard Church in St. Stephen. Media Advisory to follow.

    Media Contact:
    CARMEN BUDILEAN
    Executive director | Directrice exécutive
    Phone : (506) 447-8499 | Fax (506) 447-8489
  • Two entrepreneurs are seeking the nominations for Saint John Harbour

    Posted by · September 27, 2017 9:27 AM

    Fredericton, September 27th, 2017

    Media Advisory - Two entrepreneurs are seeking the nominations for Saint John Harbour

    Fredericton - The nomination meeting for the Saint John Harbour riding will take place on September 27th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Social Enterprise Hub located on 139 Prince Edward Street in Saint-John.  David Coon, leader of the Green Party and MLA for Fredericton South, will be present to support the nominees. 

    Seeking nomination for Saint John Harbour are Wayne Dryer and Ryan Lanigan. 

    Wayne is an entrepreneur and partner of Thera Ped. He is also a pastor of Germain St. United Baptist Church where he realized that the problems facing individuals in his community could only be resolved by addressing the social and political structural issues that created them. He became involved in poverty reduction strategies, social housing, the opposition to the LNG terminal and in advocating for an alternative to the P3 funding model for Saint John’s water treatment system. In recent years he has been a strong opponent of the unjust tax concessions enjoyed by some large corporations in New Brunswick which are contributing to the financial difficulties the province is experiencing.

    Ryan has worked throughout the province of New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada in numerous industries as a business development representative. He has seen firsthand and worked with those who are the backbone of our economy, while also providing innovative solutions for these organizations and their facilities. He has partaken in the successes of productive environmental policies and as a result, he was able to experience the economic growth that comes with it.  Over the past decade, Ryan has been involved with the Saint John Trojans Rugby Football Club and the rugby community in New Brunswick.

    For more information about the nominees please visit: 
    http://www.greenpartynb.ca/32_saint_john_harbour

    If you have any questions feel free to call us.

    CARMEN BUDILEAN, 
    Executive director | Directrice exécutive
    Phone : (506) 447-8499 | Fax (506) 447-8489
  • Inadequate annual reporting by government departments prevents committee effectiveness

    Posted by · September 26, 2017 9:55 AM

    Fredericton – The Public Accounts committee is beginning two weeks of public hearings to follow up on the Auditor General’s recommendations and examine the expenditures of government departments.David Coon, Green party leader and MLA for Fredericton South, is concerned about the lack of details being provided to the committee by departments.
    "In my preparation as a member of the Public Accounts committee I was astounded at how meager the reporting from government departments has become," said Coon. "We need sufficient information in order to assess whether departments are spending money effectively and efficiently to accomplish their objectives. The annual reports of recent years are wholly inadequate. I raised my concern to Deputy Ministers last year and nothing has changed."
    In 2013/2014, government departments began using a new reporting style that has progressively reduced the information communicated through annual reports. “This is a big deal,” said Coon. “The public is very concerned with accountability and government waste. The one committee that has the mandate to address these issues is the Public Accounts Committee and it needs to have sufficient information to be able to do its job. The buck stops here. I will be suggesting that our committee suggests to the Legislative Assembly that it require adequate reporting from government departments.”
    "This is a big deal", said Coon. "The public is very concerned with accountability and government waste. The one committee that has the mandate to address these issues is the Public Accounts Committee and it needs to have sufficient information to be able to do its job. The buck stops here. I will be suggesting that our committee suggests to the Legislative Assembly that it require adequate reporting from government departments."
  • Green Party Leader launches 3-part educational video series on International Day of Democracy

    Posted by · September 15, 2017 10:00 AM

    Fredericton – On Friday, September 15th, the International Day of Democracy, David Coon, leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick and MLA for Fredericton South, will officially launch his educational video series: Legicate Yourself.

    “Most people don’t understand that the main function of our provincial parliament, the Legislative Assembly, is to exercise control over government action. It is the seat of our democracy, and the one institution designed to ensure political accountability. To ensure the Legislature is effectively carrying out this mandate, it is essential that New Brunswickers understand how our parliamentary system of democracy is supposed to function. That is why I produced this video series,” said Coon.

    Legicate Yourself is a light-hearted, educational three part video series created by St. Thomas University social work students during the fall of 2016 as part of their social action internship in Coon’s office. Coon is promoting the series to middle and high school principals and vice principals across the province as an educational resource available to teachers.

    The series examines:

    1. What is the role of a MLA: https://youtu.be/q15NuI7f7wY 
    2. What is the Legislative Assembly?: https://youtu.be/tkNmX43Dnp8 
    3. What are Legislative Committees?: https://youtu.be/OaIcBHBgIqM  
  • Reckless Restructuring of our Public Health Program Threatens our Health and Economy

    Posted by · September 12, 2017 7:00 AM

    Written by Marilyn Merritt-Gray, Candidate in Gagetown-Petitcodiac

    The Liberal Health Minister Victor Boudreau’s plan to dramatically restructure New Brunswick’s Public Health Program flies in the face of advice from Canadian Public Health experts and poses a significant threat to our health and our economy.

    An Editorial in the Canadian Journal of Public Health (2017) penned by seven Public Health leaders from across the country, expressed alarm at the “growing weakness in the country’s Public Health infrastructure” and suggests “we are at a crisis point”. The experts identify 4 key problems with current government structural approaches to Public Health that when taken together constitute a crisis. The Health Minister’s announced plan to organizationally restructure the office of the NB Chief Officer of Health, effective immediately, will target and threatens to make worse, each of the problem areas identified by these experts.

    These experts are calling for the Office of the Chief Medical Health officer to have the same level of authority and independence as provincial Auditor Generals. They are calling for governments to ‘ringfence’ Public Health staff and thereby not integrate them with other departments and or primary care health programs. They are calling for governments to raise the level of health funding designated exclusively to public health services. The Minister’s announcement last week is in direct opposition to this advice and thereby threatens New Brunswick’s health and economic security.

    Should we as New Brunswickers care about this? Is Public Health Programming really that important? Why? History has taught us that nothing can dismantle an economy and population faster than a public health crisis; take Toronto’s experience with SARS fifteen years ago and the more recent Zika crisis in Brazil.

    Public health programs have existed in Canada and New Brunswick since before 1900, initially targeting Cholera, sanitation issues, Small Pox, and Typhoid. Public health policy then shifted to Influenzas, maternal and child health, nutritional and food safety, tuberculosis, auto accidents and tobacco. Then in the 1950s public health programs shifted again to cover environmental contamination and birth control, while still dealing with persistent and evolving infectious diseases. Public health has always focused on the health of full populations, staying ahead of health threats, ensuring public health emergency preparedness and response, and in recent years, increased focus has needed to highlight and address population health inequities and environmental health risks. In order to do this work a specialized team of health professionals is needed and they need to have the capacity to not only advise but redirect Ministerial government decisions at a time of crisis.

    Canadian experts call for 4-5% of every provincial Health budget to be devoted to public health programing. Back in 2014 New Brunswick devoted less than 2% of its Health funding to these programs. Minister Boudreau says his plan for restructuring will not reduce resources further, however as time passes normal attrition may result in increased departmental ‘efficiencies’.

    With public health programs underfunded it is now more important than ever for existing services to remain centralized in order to work effectively as a highly expert and nimble planning and operational team. A surgeon cannot perform surgery efficiently and effectively without a well-resourced, devoted specialty team of health professionals. In the same way that the surgeon relies on specialized surgical nurses and anesthetists, so too does the Chief Medical Officer of Health rely on the specialized efforts of public health personnel. The shift toward integrating these staff into other departments jeopardizes the viability of the specialty team to do its work.

    So why would the Liberal government recommend such a dramatic restructuring of the NB public health programs operated by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health? The Minister says the restructuring is not being done to save money. So why do this to an already under resourced department? The move could be a symptom of the Liberal government ideology, taking the advice of an administrative consultant, over the advice of professional experts. It could be a step to reduce the mandate of the office before making the Chief Medical Officer independent from government. No matter the reason for the restructuring this is a bad decision for New Brunswickers, posing a significant threat to our health and economy.

    Marilyn Merritt-Gray is a nurse and lifelong advocate for rural health services. She is the Green Party Candidate for Gagetown-Petitcodiac