FREDERICTON – In response to Premier Higgs State of the Province speech this afternoon, Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon released the following statement:
“Premier Higgs has drawn a line in the sand on environmental action and a transition to a green economy during the State of the Province address, and he is standing against it. The Premier has firmly anchored self on the wrong side of history in order to maintain the status quo. He is ignoring the efforts of local businesses to expand renewable energy development but handing $20 million to foreign nuclear power developers to weigh us down with more costly and dangerous waste-generating nuclear technology. He came out firmly against the application of Canada’s clean fuel standard to the Irving Oil refinery while backing their application to the EUB to increase the price of heating oil, gasoline and diesel.
The Premier’s revelation that the province will have a deficit of just $13 million this year is a slap in the face to all of those small business people in the hospitality, entertainment, arts and tourism sectors who are struggling to stay afloat, and desperately need targeted support to get through this pandemic.
The same could be said for those New Brunswickers facing unreasonable rent increases forcing them to look for new homes during the pandemic in a very tight rental market. The Premier should freeze rents and evictions until his three-month review of New Brunswick’s tenancy system is completed to avoid companies from jacking up rents in the interim for fear of future rent controls.
The Premier’s claim that everything is going well does not meet the straight face test when workers in our care sector, who are already among the lowest paid in Canada are being offered zeros on wage increases for their next contracts.
I agree with the Premier that we need to become more self-sufficient as a region, but not on the backs of working people, small businesses and the environment."