News

  • Green Party leader issues supplementary opinion calling for end of use of glyphosate on Crown Lands

    Posted by · November 03, 2021 9:00 AM

    FREDERICTON – In response to the Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship’s report on the use of glyphosate in New Brunswick this morning, Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon has issued a supplementary opinion. Coon says that the Standing Committee heard more than enough evidence from witnesses for the Department of Natural Resources and Energy to end its use of glyphosate on Crown lands.

    “In light of the infringement of Indigenous rights from spraying glyphosate on Crown lands asserted by First Nation witnesses; the weight of the evidence that was presented concerning its negative impacts on biological diversity in our forests, and the evidence of health risks it poses to wildlife, I wrote a supplementary opinion calling for a ban on its use on Crown Lands,” said Coon.  “I asked that the committee attach my supplementary opinion to the report, but my motion was defeated.”

    Lawsuits are currently before the courts asserting Indigenous title over lands encompassing most of the Crown lands in New Brunswick, which the Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq neither ceded nor surrendered to the Crown. Further Indigenous treaties and rights are enshrined in Canada’s constitution.

    “First Nations representatives told the committee that glyphosate spraying poses a direct constraint on the exercise of Indigenous and treaty rights,” said Coon. “Yet this was completely ignored within the committee’s recommendations, so I have included this in my supplementary opinion.”

  • Green Caucus to propose emergency debate in Legislature on ongoing labour issues

    Posted by · November 02, 2021 12:00 PM

    Fredericton – In the Legislative Assembly this afternoon, Green Caucus House Leader and MLA for Kent North Kevin Arseneau will move a motion calling for an emergency debate on the ongoing negotiations between the government and 22,000 public service workers who are asking for a real wage increase. Section 45 of the Legislative Assembly’s standing rules allow for an emergency debate for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter requiring urgent consideration.

    “Never before have we seen a government allow a strike to happen with so many public sector workers at once,” said Arseneau. “Under no circumstances should the Premier resort to the Emergency Measures Act powers to order people back to work, but since he is considering it, it is important that this topic come to the Legislative Assembly for debate as soon as possible.”

  • Greens to press for social and environmental progress during fall session of Legislature

    Posted by · November 01, 2021 11:00 AM

    FREDERICTON – Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon says he and his caucus will bring forward proposals during the upcoming fall session of the Legislative Assembly to get affordable housing built, to get buses back on the roads and trains back on the rails, and to tackle the healthcare crises head-on.

    “People have lost faith that government is committed to serving the common good. They don’t believe that their well-being is at the centre of government decision-making,” said Coon. “High paid lobbyists, and the captains of industry have full access to the halls of power when citizens don’t even get their letters to Ministers or the Premier acknowledged.”

    The provincial government failed to present its health care reform package at the end of October as promised.  New Brunswick is losing nearly 1000 affordable apartments every year.  Carbon emissions from motor vehicles have barely budged while train, bus and city transit services have badly deteriorated.

    “My caucus colleagues and I will propose practical solutions to pressing problems while holding the government accountable for those initiatives designed to serve special interests rather than the common good,” said Coon. “It is time that the well-being of people, and the environment that sustains us, are put at the heart of government decision-making.”

  • NB Green Party Leader Calls for Urgent Action to Wind Down Fossil Fuel Use

    Posted by · October 29, 2021 8:00 AM

    FREDERICTON – On the eve of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which begins Sunday in Glasgow, Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon says that the world is moving out of the fossil fuel era, and its time for New Brunswick to follow suit or we will be left behind.

    “I was part of New Brunswick’s delegation to the historic 2015 Paris Climate Summit, which laid out the goal to keep the Earth from warming by no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and we have made little progress in New Brunswick since,” said Coon. “At minimum, Premier Higgs should follow Nova Scotia’s lead and end the use of coal by 2030, while ensuring 80% of our electricity comes from renewable sources by then.”

    The Higgs government has announced its intention to apply to the federal government to keep the coal burning Belledune Generating Station open until 2040, ten years beyond the federal government’s cut-off. It also has failed to announce a new renewable energy target, after the previous goal of 40% by 2020 was met.

    “The Higgs government has its head in the sand when it comes to acting on the climate crisis,” said Coon. “We have not seen any ambition to implement New Brunswick’s 2016 Climate Change Action Plan, nor any indication it will be updated to acknowledge the urgent action that is required this decade.”

  • Green Party leader requests Attorney General withdraw new land acknowledgement policy

    Posted by · October 15, 2021 12:00 PM

    Green Party leader and the MLA for Fredericton South, David Coon, is calling on Attorney General Ted Flemming to withdraw his prohibition on public servants, teachers, and healthcare providers making land acknowledgements.

    “Acknowledging that the Wolastoqey, Mi’kmaq and Peskotomuhkati peoples never surrendered or ceded their lands to the Crown is to state a historical fact. It is the truth. The first step towards reconciliation is to tell the truth,” said Coon. “The Attorney General’s memo is ordering public employees to be complicit in this government’s sophistry. It is repugnant”

    Coon said he will open his reply to the Speech from the Throne next month with a full land acknowledgement and plenty of truth-telling.

  • Memramcook-Tantramar MLA calls for investigation into COVID outbreak at Drew Nursing Home

    Posted by · October 12, 2021 3:00 PM

    FREDERICTON – Megan Mitton, the MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar and the Green Party’s health critic, is calling for the provincial government to launch a formal, independent investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak at the Drew Nursing Home in Sackville. As of October 8th there have been eight deaths, while 29 residents and 10 staff have tested positive, far more than any other long-term care facility during the fourth wave.

    “It feels like the government has been asleep at the wheel in Sackville. The outbreak at the Drew Nursing Home has been going on for a month now,” said Mitton. “Residents and their families need answers. Why wasn’t this outbreak immediately brought under control by PROMT and the Department of Social Development, as past outbreaks in long-term care facilities have been. What went wrong?”

    Mitton is also requesting that the government be more transparent on which facilities have had outbreaks, and how many cases and deaths have been reported in long-term care facilities since the fourth wave began over a month ago. On September 22nd the government announced that PROMT teams had been activated at 15 long-term care facilities around the province; however, there has been no update in the past three weeks.

    “The government needs to be far more transparent about the current outbreaks in care facilities,” said Mitton. “We are now seeing the same type of crisis at the Drew Nursing Home that other provinces experienced during previous waves.  What is happening in long-term care facilities elsewhere in the province?  It seems as if the government is trying to sweep this under the rug.”

  • Green Caucus calls for Legislature to be called back to provide accountability of government’s COVID response

    Posted by · September 29, 2021 4:27 PM

    FREDERICTON – Kevin Arseneau, the Green Caucus house leader and MLA for Kent North, has written to Speaker Bill Oliver requesting that he call the Legislative Assembly back to provide better accountability of the government’s response to the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Legislative Assembly is scheduled to resume meeting on November 2; however, the speaker can recall the Assembly early if it is in the public interest.

    “New Brunswick has had more COVID deaths and hospitalizations this month than in any previous month. There are outbreaks in numerous nursing homes. Contact tracing and testing are overwhelmed,” said Arseneau. “To provide for greater oversight of the government’s response to the fourth wave, the Speaker needs to call the Legislative Assembly back, with an option for MLAs to participate virtually, as soon as possible.”

    Megan Mitton, the Green Caucus health critic and MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar, says that the government’s lack of action and planning a month ago as cases started to rise led to the fourth wave hitting New Brunswick harder than it otherwise would have.

    “Despite the Delta Variant surging in other areas with similar vaccination rates, the Higgs government was not prepared for any further outbreaks of COVID-19 after the province went to the green phase on July 30,” said Mitton. “Now this tepid response has resulted in us not having the contract tracing or testing capacity to keep up with the rapid spread of the fourth wave.”

  • Green Party leader, MLAs to close offices out of respect for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

    Posted by · September 29, 2021 4:23 PM

    FREDERICTON – Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon has announced that he will be closing his legislative and constituency offices to allow for reflection on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. Fellow Green MLAs, Kevin Arseneau and Megan Mitton will also be closing their constituency offices.

    “It is important to me to close my offices to allow for reflection on truth and reconciliation,” said Coon. “Though most Government of New Brunswick offices will remain open, we will join municipalities and private businesses across the province that have announced they will be closed out of respect for the day.”

    Coon will be attending two events in Fredericton to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.  At 12:00pm, he will attend a ceremony that will permanently raise the Wolastoqiyik Flag at City Hall. Then he will attend a ceremony hosted by Sitansisk (St. Mary’s First Nation) at the Old Reserve, 150 Cliffe Street, at 1:00pm. Arseneau and Mitton will also mark the day by attending events in their ridings.

    “The permanent raising of the Wolastoqiyik Flag at City Hall in our capital city is an important statement,” said Coon. “I am disappointed that the provincial government has missed the chance to work with Indigenous leaders to determine how best to commemorate this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in New Brunswick.”

  • NB and PEI Green Leaders call for better Atlantic collaboration to improve transportation and energy integration

    Posted by · September 28, 2021 10:20 AM

    CHARLOTTETOWN/FREDERICTON - The leaders of the Green Party caucuses in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick are calling on the Atlantic Premiers to collaborate on the development of public transportation and renewable energy infrastructure for the region.

    “Islanders routinely seek health care services in Moncton and Saint John, but the public transportation infrastructure is inadequate to get them there and back without access to a private vehicle,” said Peter Bevan-Baker, Leader of the Official Opposition, Prince Edward Island and Green Party of PEI.

    “It is time to serve people’s need for transportation services without forcing them to rely on expensive private vehicles,” said David Coon, Leader of the New Brunswick Green Party. “We need a more convenient bus network integrated with a new regional rail service and improved ferry services if we are serious about doing our fair share in response to the climate emergency.”  

     

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  • Green Party leader calls on Premier to re-institute isolation requirements for unvaccinated travelers and mask mandate

    Posted by · September 09, 2021 12:00 PM

    FREDERICTON – Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon is again calling on Premier Blaine Higgs to re-institute isolation requirements for travelers who are not fully vaccinated coming into New Brunswick from outside of our region. This would bring New Brunswick in line with Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, all of which require unvaccinated travelers to isolate.

    “Considering the high rates of COVID cases and hospitalizations in provinces such as Alberta, and given the severity of the Delta variant, the Premier must require travelers who have chosen not to be vaccinated to isolate upon arrival in New Brunswick,” said Coon. “In Alberta, those who are unvaccinated are filling ICUs. We can’t afford to wait until we have significant hospitalizations before government acts.”

    With confirmation of community spread in the Moncton region, and infections occurring in every region, Coon wants the government to re-institute an indoor mask mandate as has recently been done by BC, Alberta, and Manitoba.

    “Until we have much higher rates of vaccination, masks will help reduce the spread of the virus as we move this fall indoors.  It is a simple measure that will make a big difference,” said Coon.

    Nova Scotia announced yesterday that their vaccine passport system will be ready for October 4.  New Brunswick’s Green Party leader wants Premier Higgs to collaborate with Premiers Houston, King and Furey to create a universal vaccine passport for Atlantic Canada.