News

  • Energy efficiency responsibility needs to be returned to an independent agency

    Posted by · February 24, 2022 1:00 PM

    FREDERICTON – The Auditor General report released this morning found that NB Power’s energy saving programs are difficult to access by low and moderate-income households despite 37% of New Brunswick households experiencing energy poverty, where they spend more than 6% of their income on energy. NB Power has slashed its energy saving targets and failed to implement government’s commitments on energy efficiency contained in the Climate Action Plan.

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  • Premier Higgs needs protect most vulnerable as he removes COVID restrictions

    Posted by · February 16, 2022 9:00 AM

    FREDERICTON – As Premier Higgs relaxes COVID-19 measures for the general population, NB Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon says he must put in place a plan that will protect those most vulnerable to serious illness, hospitalizations and death.

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  • Tracadie Firing Range should be co-managed by the local community in partnership with the M’ikmaq Nation

    Posted by · February 02, 2022 3:00 PM

    FREDERICTON - New Brunswick Green Party Leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon says the 18,000 hectares of forest and rivers of the former Tracadie Firing Range should be co-managed by the local community in partnership with the M’ikmaq Nation.  

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  • Fragile supply chain shows the importance of prioritizing local food production

    Posted by · January 27, 2022 9:00 AM

    FREDERICTON – Many New Brunswickers were alarmed to find empty produce shelves across New Brunswick last week due to multiple major snowstorms. Green Party Agriculture critic and MLA for Kent North Kevin Arseneau says this is indicative of a food system that relies on imported fruits and vegetables, which will be increasingly disrupted by crises outside of New Brunswick, such as severe weather from climate change or major COVID outbreaks.

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  • Premier needs to take action to protect New Brunswickers from unaffordable rent increases

    Posted by · January 25, 2022 9:00 AM

    FREDERICTON – Statistics just released by Statistics Canada reveal that the average cost of rent in New Brunswick has increased by 7.2% over the past year, compared with the national average of 1.6%. This, says NB Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon, is further proof that the province must adopt strong rent controls, including an annual cap on rent increases.

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  • Inaction on Mental Health Commitments Highlighted by Lockdown

    Posted by · January 18, 2022 9:00 AM

    FREDERICTON – NB Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon has been hearing concerns from New Brunswickers about their mental health as the lockdown takes hold – a stark reminder that the provincial government has been slow to implement its commitments from the mental health and addictions strategy it announced last year.

    “Last February, the government committed to opening 13 mental health walk-in clinics around the province based on the successful pilot project in Campbellton,” said Coon. “And they committed to adding addiction and mental health resources to address increased demand for services resulting from COVID-19. These are needed now.”

    It has been over two years since the Legislature unanimously adopted a motion to create a mental health advocate for the Province, but no one has been appointed. And almost a year has gone by since the circumstances surrounding Lexi Daken’s suicide exposed gaping holes in emergency mental health care services, but the ensuing recommendations remain largely unimplemented.

    “The Premier often talks of living with COVID-19, so his upcoming budget must support a properly funded healthcare system so we can live with COVID-19 and the restrictions it imposes on our lives,” said Coon. “Neither medical nor mental health services should fall by the wayside during a pandemic, but that is precisely what is happening.”  

  • Government needs to immediately offer support for those that are hardest hit by Level 3

    Posted by · January 13, 2022 3:00 PM

    FREDERICTON – With the announcement that the province will go to Level 3 COVID restrictions this week, NB Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon says that the government must immediately offer financial support for the people and businesses who will be hardest hit by the move, including small businesses, the hospitality sector, artists and their performance venues, and those who will lose their income.

    “While this is a necessary public health measure to try to slow the spread of Omicron and ease the pressure on  our healthcare system, it will have a significant negative effect on both businesses and workers in those sectors that will be closed over the next few weeks,” said Coon. “The Premier must loosen the purse strings to support those in need, to reduce the hardship they will face.”

    Kevin Arseneau, the Green Caucus Advocate on matters of Developing and Strengthening Communities, has been meeting with, and hearing from, families, people in the arts & culture community, as well as small business owners about how dire their situation is.

    “We are going on two years that these sectors have been negatively affected by the pandemic, and for two years Premier Higgs has completely ignored their needs.” said Arseneau. “Now is the time for him to step up and begrudgingly support those who are most in need.”

  • Green MLAs eager to hear the recommendations from climate change experts

    Posted by · January 13, 2022 9:00 AM

    The world’s use of gasoline, natural gas, oil, and coal has thrown our climate into crisis.  The resulting damage to homes, property, and health has been evident in New Brunswick for over a decade now.  Beginning Thursday, an all-party committee of New Brunswick MLAs will hold five days of public hearings on the renewal of New Brunswick’s 2016 plan to transition to a low carbon economy. 

    New Brunswick’s Green MLAs are eager to hear the recommendations from experts on what specific actions should be taken over the next five years to free our society from fossil fuels, and to protect our communities and infrastructure from the ravages of a destabilizing climate.

    “The science is telling us that during this decade we must make the most profound transformation in our housing, transportation, and energy supplies that the world has ever known,” said Green Party leader David Coon, an original member of the Legislature’s 2016 Climate Change Committee.  “The hearings will be video streamed, so I hope New Brunswickers will tune in because what we decide to do over the next five years will determine the state of the province we hand over to our children.”

     

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  • Green MLAs want regions hardest hit by COVID to move to Level 3

    Posted by · January 10, 2022 3:00 PM

    New Brunswick’s Green MLAs say that the government needs to take immediate steps to reduce the transmission of COVID in the province’s hardest hit communities so students can go back to school, while also ensuring that healthcare workers are better protected. 

    “The government should implement the Level 3 measures to limit public gatherings to slow the spread of COVID in communities with major outbreaks,” says David Coon, Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South. “This will reduce community spread and should ease the pressure on our hospitals, enabling students to return to school more quickly.”

    The Saint John region has 3,176 active cases with 40 of the Saint John Regional Hospital’s 43 ICU beds filled, while Moncton has 2,152 active cases with 11 out of 14 ICU beds occupied at the Georges Dumont Regional Hospital.

    “We know that what happens in the schools is reflective of the extent of transmission in the community,” said Megan Mitton, the Green critic for Education and Early Childhood Development and MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar.  “The government needs to be proactive to reduce community transmission so students can return to the classroom.”

    Many workers in New Brunswick do not have access to paid sick days; however will be required to stay home to isolate after contracting COVID-19, or being the close contact of a family member who has.

    “More needs to be done to protect healthcare workers, and all of those on the front-lines,” said Kevin Arseneau, the Green advocate for strengthening communities and MLA for Kent North. “This includes providing paid sick days for all workers, distributing N-95 masks to reduce the risks of front-line workers contracting the virus, and making investments in our healthcare system to make it more resilient.”

  • Premier must accept and fully implement Official Languages Act review recommendations

    Posted by · December 15, 2021 4:00 PM

    FREDERICTON – Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon urges Premier Higgs to accept the recommendations from the Commissioners of the Official Languages Act and move to fully implement them.

    “I am happy that Commissioners Finn and McLaughlin have recognized many of the improvements that my Caucus colleagues and I have been calling for,” said Coon. “Now it is incumbent upon Premier Higgs, who is the Minister in charge of Official Languages, to accept these recommendations and implement them with sufficient resources.”

    The first recommendation in the report is to establish a Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly on Official Languages. The creation of such a committee was first called for by Kent North MLA Kevin Arseneau in the Legislature on June 6, 2019.

    “For over two years I have been trying to convince the Premier and all Members of the House, with the support of my caucus colleagues, of the necessity of a Standing Committee on Official Languages to facilitate further discussion of official languages by MLAs,” said Arseneau. “Premier Higgs needs to accept this recommendation from his commissioners and bring a motion for its creation to the Legislative Assembly this week, so the new committee can get to work in the New Year.”

    “We are glad to have had the opportunity to send a submission to and meet with the commissioners,” added Arseneau. “We thank them for their work. It is now up to legislators to take action. Our caucus is impatient to move in the direction of substantive equality.”