SUNNY CORNER - This morning, NB Green Party Leader David Coon joined candidates Chad Duplessie (Miramichi Bay-Neguac) and Julie Guillemet-Ackerman (Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin) at a press conference to outline their priorities for their ridings after listening to voters at the door and at gatherings.
“I have knocked on hundreds of doors across the riding and one thing is sure: people are tired of having no real representation. We haven’t had an MLA for almost a year and it has shown up in the local governance reforms, it shows in how our health services are run, how local infrastructure decisions are made and I could go on,” says Duplessie. “Local governance reform was intended to fix the crisis facing local democracy but in the case of Entity 22 the process has only created confusion, distrust and division. I truly believe that the only way for the people of Miramichi Bay-Neguac to have true representation in Fredericton is to vote Green.”
“Healthcare is a top priority for most people I meet, and it's a real challenge right now. Between a lack of primary care options, overburdened staff and hospitals, and a severe shortage of front-line staff people are worried about what will happen when they get sick,” says Guillemet-Ackerman. “On top of all that, we know that healthcare needs to start with prevention, and it is incredibly challenging right now when stress levels are through the roof and folks are struggling to afford food.”
Duplessie and Guillemet-Ackerman’s priorities include:
1. Tackling the affordability crisis by:
- Make the rent cap permanent to keep housing affordable
- Tax the excess profits of the big oil and gas companies and redistribute the money to New Brunswickers
- Increase the amount of the HST rebate cheques and issue them monthly to help those who earn less than $25,000 a year
2. Improving healthcare by
- Increasing the number of collaborative community health centres featuring family doctors, mental healthcare specialists, nurse practitioners, dieticians, and midwives.
- Empowering hospitals to meet the needs and expectations of the people they serve, rather than leaving those decisions to managers in Fredericton.
- Improving working conditions for nurses and other healthcare professionals to create a work environment that will attract the healthcare workers
3. Grassroots Democracy
- Everyone should be represented by a local government, but the process must be democratic and engage citizens in the decision-making process
4. Strong local economies
- Establish community-based forestry management on Crown lands, in consultation with First Nations
- Allow municipalities to play a greater role in economic development, immigration, and tourism.
“For too long, Conservative and Liberal governments have pandered to large corporations and investors from elsewhere, rather than protecting and empowering our communities and families, ” says Coon. “As Greens, we are committed to improving the common good for all, not the self-interest of those with immense wealth. I know Chad and Julie will uphold these values as MLAs.”
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