NB Politics potpourri

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Caissa
NB Politics potpourri

The president of the School District 1 education council isn't backing down in his refusal to make budget cuts and is now warning the education minister that if he is forced to cut two per cent, it could mean teacher layoffs and the closure of a school.

Ernest Thibodeau argued on Wednesday that it's unfair to expect the only district in the province that's growing to spend less.

"We are the only district that is increasing in numbers year after year," Thibodeau said. "I welcome them to come and show us where we can cut because we're trying to find it...if we are going to cut $2 million we will have to cut some positions."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/04/28/nb-district...

Caissa

Film producers say they are cautiously optimistic after meeting with Economic Development Minister and Deputy Premier Paul Robichaud about the government decision to cut the film tax credit in the March budget.

Since then producers have protested the decision, with many saying they would leave the province and move their businesses and their employees elsewhere.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/05/02/nb-film-cre...

Caissa

The NDP made history in New Brunswick on Monday, placing first or second in seven of the ten ridings with a combined total of 29.76 per cent of the vote.

However that increase in votes didn't translate into more seats for the NDP, with incumbent Yvon Godin of Acadie-Bathurst remaining the only NDP Member of Parliament in the province.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/05/03/nb-anti-con...

Caissa

The strength of the NDP is being credited to the rise of New Brunswick's voter turnout in Monday' election.

Elections Canada's preliminary statistics show New Brunswick's voter turnout level jumped to 66.1 per cent up from 62.9 per cent in 2008.

New Brunswick's share of registered voters who cast ballots in Monday's election is the third highest in Canada, behind only Prince Edward Island and the Yukon.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/05/04/nb-election...

Caissa

The Progressive Conservative government is expected to introduce a referendum law on Wednesday that will create a framework to allow voters to have a say in important decisions.

Premier David Alward first championed the cause of referendums during his party's fight against the failed deal to sell NB Power to Hydro-Québec. Alward argued voters should have the right to vote for or against the energy deal through a referendum.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/05/25/nb-referend...

Caissa

Premier David Alward is facing questions about whether he approved a special pension for Saint John MP Rodney Weston when he was a cabinet minister in 2003.

Opposition Leader Victor Boudreau pressed Alward on Thursday in question period over the fresh pension allegations.

Weston, who is now the Conservative MP for Saint John, had served for three-and-a-half years as the chief of staff for Bernard Lord.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/05/26/nb-rodney-w...

Caissa

Three New Brunswick MLAs could soon be flying to Germany to learn about democracy even though there is a government-wide cutback on unnecessary travel spending for public servants.

Premier David Alward said last fall the province was in a fiscal crisis and his Progressive Conservative government was trying to ratchet back spending to curtail a ballooning provincial deficit.

Teachers were among the first to see their out-of-province conferences cancelled and other trips scaled back.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs has ordered all government departments to trim their annual budgets. Even after the pledge for fiscal restraint, Higgs still posted a deficit of $448-million.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/05/30/nb-mlas-ger...

Caissa

It's time to open the province's books and reveal how many specially approved pensions successive New Brunswick governments have doled out to party supporters, says the province's NDP leader. Accusations have emerged that both Conservative and Liberal cabinets being turfed from power in the last decade have granted special dispensation to political appointees who otherwise didn't qualify for a government pension.

Dominic Cardy says it's time for everyone to shed light on how the deals happened and how much it's costing New Brunswickers.

"It's our money and we should know how it's spent," he said.

"It's shameful. This is why people get turned off politics," said the NDP leader, who earlier this week called on the Liberals and Conservatives to commit to an independent, merit-based process for appointing senior officials to Crown corporations.

Hiding behind cabinet privilege on the pensions issue is unacceptable, he said.

http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/news/article/1410429

Caissa

Education Minister Jody Carr is lifting travel restrictions imposed on teachers and departmental staff last fall to allow out-of-province trips that benefit teachers and students.

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/1410857

Caissa

NB Speaker Dale Graham said

Quote:
"I think everybody agrees that 85 per cent of our exports go outside of New Brunswick...

 

Does that mean 15% of our exports stay in NB?

Caissa

There are still no midwives in New Brunswick, despite legislation passed by the previous Liberal government to legalize and regulate the profession.

Legislation recognizing midwifery as a profession was adopted in 2008. In 2010, the regulations were set up.

Health Minister Madeleine Dubé said so far no one has applied to be licensed as a midwife in the province.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/01/nb-midwives...

Caissa

New Brunswick should revamp some of its oldest legislative and political traditions in an effort to re-engage citizens in democracy and give a voice to smaller parties, according to a new report.

Don Desserud, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John and Cody Waite, a graduate student at the University of New Brunswick, authored a 66-page report to be released Friday in Fredericton.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/02/nb-desserud...

Caissa

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is calling for the number of MLAs to be slashed to 38, a move that would save roughly $2 million annually.

Cardy outlined his party's proposals for legislative reform on Friday after Don Desserud, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, released his 66-page report designed to re-engage citizens in politics.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/03/nb-ndp-mlas...

Caissa

New Brunswick motorists will have to let the cellphone go to voicemail while they drive, starting Monday.

That's when the province's distracted driving legislation comes into effect.

The Progressive Conservative government passed the new law in December which prohibits the use of hand-held cell phones and the manual programming of GPS systems while driving.

Drivers who break the law will have to pay $172.50 in addition to losing three points from their license.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/05/nb-cellphon...

Caissa

The chairman of New Brunswick's largest francophone school district earned applause Monday night for his ongoing refusal to implement a budget cut as ordered by Education Minister Jody Carr.

About 150 parents gave Ernest Thibodeau, the chairman of the District 1 Education Council, a standing ovation for his public fight against the education minister.

The reaction brought a smile to Thibodeau's face. However, the school district chairman said he's been feeling rather lonely in his fight to protect his district against a two per cent budget cut.

Thibodeau said every other district education council in the province should refuse to go along with the cuts.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/07/nb-district...

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

never mind

Caissa

The Progressive Conservatives introduced a bill in the legislature Tuesday that will cut MLA pensions and severance, rolling them back largely to what they were before MLAs made changes to their salaries in April 2008 - a move that dramatically increased their retirement packages.

The move will affect all current MLAs and will be retroactive to 2008, lowering the pensions of MLAs who have been defeated or who have retired since then.

"I made a commitment that it would be dealt with. It is dealt with here today and it is retroactive," Premier David Alward told reporters Tuesday.

Though the changes are retroactive, retired or defeated former legislators won't be expected to reimburse what they have already been paid.

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/1413277

Caissa

A South Korean family that is facing deportation because their youngest son is autistic and epileptic has received assurances from the New Brunswick government that it will pay for the child's health and education costs.

The federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration told the Maeng family, which has been living in Moncton since 2003, last week they must leave Canada by the end of the month.

The federal government is arguing that because Sung-Joo Maeng, 15, is epileptic and autistic the costs of his care would be too expensive.

Social Development Minister Sue Stultz presented a letter to the Maeng family Wednesday with a guarantee the provincial government will cover the health-care costs for their son.

Nicole Druckman, the family's lawyer, said the provincial government's support will help the family's bid to stay in the country.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/09/nb-stultz-k...

Caissa

New Brunswick's premier says he has no flexibility to ease off on cuts to education, despite roadwork in the province possibly costing tens of millions of dollars less than expected.

One school district in New Brunswick is refusing to implement a two per cent funding cut this year and two others say although they've done it this year, they can't next year - when the Conservative government wants another two per cent cut.

Premier David Alward said even if the province's finances improve, the cuts must continue.

"All departments have a responsibility to provide the services that the people of New Brunswick need, especially our children, and in a way we can afford to do it."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/12/nb-educatio...

Caissa

Saint John's city employees could be facing more pain as municipal politicians continue to battle the $129-million pension deficit.

The city had planned to make changes to employee benefits and spread out the pension deficit payments over a longer period of time.

However, the provincial government did not approve the necessary legislation and has asked the city to go further in its own cuts.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/15/nb-saint-jo...

Caissa

The New Brunswick government has lost a bid to block the Human Rights Commission from investigating the province's abortion policy.

The policy has been a source of controversy for years and is at the centre of an ongoing lawsuit, which was filed by Dr. Henry Morgentaler, Canada's leading abortion activist.

With the Morgentaler lawsuit still in the court system, an unnamed doctor filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on two grounds. The doctor argued that, on behalf of women, the provincial government's restrictions on access to abortion are discriminatory.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/15/nb-abortion...

Caissa

Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup is remaining steadfast in the provincial government's insistence there will not be a ban on hydro-fracking in New Brunswick.

Northrup said in an interview on Wednesday there is no proof to support the concerns raised by many opponents that the shale gas extraction process is harmful to water supplies.

He said there is still time to strengthen the regulatory regime surrounding hydro-fracking in the province

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/22/nb-northrup...

Caissa

Elizabeth Weir is officially bowing out of public service after spending almost two decades in politics and government.

Premier David Alward announced some minor changes among his senior civil servants on Wednesday, including the departure of Weir as the president and chief executive officer of the Efficiency New Brunswick.

Weir served as New Brunswick's NDP leader from 1988 to 2005 and was the party's only MLA from 1992 until 2005.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/30/nb-alward-w...

Pierre C yr

Would love to see her run federally in 2015.

Stockholm

How old is Weir now?

Robo
Caissa

The New Brunswick government is investing almost $66,000 to help fund three television pilot programs, only three months after killing the province's film tax credit.

Economic Development Minister Paul Robichaud announced the funding for Cine Atlantik Studios in Tracadie-Sheila on Friday.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/07/08/nb-robichau...

Anonymouse

Caissa wrote:

The New Brunswick government is investing almost $66,000 to help fund three television pilot programs, only three months after killing the province's film tax credit.

Economic Development Minister Paul Robichaud announced the funding for Cine Atlantik Studios in Tracadie-Sheila on Friday.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/07/08/nb-robichau...

graft. clientelism. New Brunswick.

Caissa

Fredericton council is spending $500,000 to buy the North Star Sports Bar, the city's only club that features exotic dancing.

The council will also purchase some property surrounding the strip club that is located on the city's north side.

Some Fredericton councillors say it will be an opportunity to re-develop the space into something more fitting for the area.

Service New Brunswick lists the current assessed value of the property as $364,900.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/07/12/nb-north-st...

Caissa

The Progressive Conservative is proposing to delay the planned minimum wage hike until next spring over concerns raised by the business community that the increases were hurting their bottom lines.

Labour Minister Martine Coulombe announced the policy shift in a statement on Tuesday.

The provincial government is required to consult the Minimum Wage Board before it can officially delay the wage increase to April 1 from Sept. 1. The minimum wage was supposed to jump to $10 per hour.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/07/20/nb-minimum-...

Caissa

A Liberal MLA and former minister of fisheries is now drawing a salary from a foundation he helped put in place when he was a member of cabinet.

In 2009, Charlotte-The Isles MLA Rick Doucet gave the Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Foundation $200,000 in government money. The organization funds research on lobster stocks and habits.

In March, the foundation hired Doucet to work part time for the group as its executive director. One member of the organization isn't happy about it.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/07/28/nb-union-he...

Caissa

Organizers of a blockade that surrounded several pieces of equipment used in the exploration of shale gas say they want to meet three provincial cabinet ministers and hear that the province has banned seismic testing.

At 6 p.m. Tuesday about 50 protesters surrounded five Geokinetics "thumper trucks" on Route 625, on a section of gravel road about 10 minutes north of Stanley. Geokinetics has been conducting geochemical surveys looking for shale gas under contract with Southwestern Resources Canada, a firm the province awarded a licence to explore for shale gas and oil over a huge swath of New Brunswick in 2010

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/1430577

Wilf Day

Caissa wrote:

Elizabeth Weir is officially bowing out of public service after spending almost two decades in politics and government.

Premier David Alward announced some minor changes among his senior civil servants on Wednesday, including the departure of Weir as the president and chief executive officer of the Efficiency New Brunswick.

Weir served as New Brunswick's NDP leader from 1988 to 2005 and was the party's only MLA from 1992 until 2005.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/06/30/nb-alward-w...


Pierre Cyr wrote:

Would love to see her run federally in 2015.

New Brunswick was one of the provinces where winner-take-all cheated the NDP of a couple of MPs. (The others were Saskatchewan 5, Ontario 5, Alberta 4, and Manitoba 2.) I'd love to see her take an outreach job with the federal caucus. She could just stay in New Brunswick and do the job an MP from anglophone New Brunswick would do. Then again, maybe the caucus has already hired Rob Moir or someone else to do this?

Caissa

Rob has a full-time job as an Economics professor at UNB Saint John.

Caissa

Some New Brunswick families are questioning why they are receiving a $100 cheque in the mail that is intended to help low-income families prepare for school.

The Progressive Conservative government revamped the school supplement program this year to boost the amount to $100 from $50.

But the program was also expanded to include families with a household income of less than $20,000 instead of just families that receive social assistance

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/08/11/nb-school-s...

Caissa

Opponents of shale gas exploration are shifting their protest from a dirt road outside of Stanley to the province's main government office.

Roughly 60 protesters, most of whom were from the Stanley blockade that ended Wednesday evening, are now in the lobby of the Centennial Building. The lobby is one floor below the Office of the Premier.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/08/11/nb-protest-...

bekayne
webby66

Liberals, NDP can't win without merging - Lutz

 

Lutz acknowledged he's the only prominent Liberal in the province calling for electoral co-operation.

http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/cityregion/article/1438264

Hoodeet

That would be so much fun, with the new party colours.  In fact perhaps, to avoid sticky labels like Democrats (too yankee) or Liberal Democrats (too washed-out Brit),  they could call it the red-green-orange party.  R-GO sounds positive and can-do.  NOT R-O-G, though - it would become "rogue" too easily.   

R-G-O with two hyphens sounds like a film studio or a soft rock band. 

(Sorry. It's a sleep-deprived midnight ramble.  I was serious about the colour acronym, though.)

 

Caissa

Lutz needs to stick to being a defense lawyer, something he is very good at.

webby66

Seems like MacDougall is out as Green leader. No story on CBC yet, I expect it will be up soon. 

What does this do for the Greens? They've been very quiet on the shale gas front and the best Jack could muster was not so subtly condoning the ant-shale gas folk to keep acting up.

 

webby66
Caissa

Jack MacDougall has resigned as the leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, a year after he led the party into the 2010 election campaign.

Greta Doucet, who was a Green candidate in the Moncton North, will be the interim leader of the party.

MacDougall said he expects a full-time leader will be in place by next spring and he felt it was the right time to step aside

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/09/12/nb-green-le...

webby66

Caissa wrote:

Jack MacDougall has resigned as the leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, a year after he led the party into the 2010 election campaign.

Greta Doucet, who was a Green candidate in the Moncton North, will be the interim leader of the party.

MacDougall said he expects a full-time leader will be in place by next spring and he felt it was the right time to step aside

">http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/09/12/nb-green-le...

 

ummm had already posted the story, no need for duplication now.

webby66

Two hydro-fracking opponents disrupted a Fredericton city council meeting on Monday night even though the contentious mining practice was not on the local agenda.

About two dozen people who were upset that trucks used for natural gas exploration were seen driving through the city sat in the public gallery during the regular council meeting.

Later in the evening, two members of the group disrupted the meeting demanding to speak to the councillors before being rejected by Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside.

"I do not appreciate anybody bringing a provincial issue into the council chamber and using it for a soap box. It's inappropriate," Woodside said.

"And, as I pointed out tonight, it's disrespectful to those who were sitting here waiting their turn."

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/09/13/nb-woodside...

 

I'm sure the biggest concerns to residents of Fredericton is the traffic that goes through it. Well done fracking protestors, you've managed to find a new level of crazy.

Hoodeet

There is a province-wide anti-shale gas coalition made up of over 20 community-based groups and alliances --and growing-- that's organizing against the current gov't's lies and obstructionism.   In addition to local forums, town meetings, etc., there will be a march and rally in Moncton on Saturday, Sept. 17, leaving at noon from Vaughn Harvey Blvd. and Assomption Blvd. down Main St. to City Hall.

This Wednesday the 14th (tomorrow!), in Sussex, supporters of the Penobsquis community victim of shale gas exploration and of the Potash mines will rally outside the Mining Commission hearings.

"Ban fracking" and "No shale gas" signs are all around to let the gov't know that opponents aren't just a vocal little minority. 

Premier Alward has rejected the call for a referendum saying that the last election was as good a referendum as any, since the majority of voters gave them a virtual blank cheque. 

At the NB Union of Municipalities convention in Fredericton Sept 30-Oct 2, a special meeting on shale gas and hydrofracking was called at the request of several municipalities. The gov't agreed but they are using 3.5 hours to present their own position (parroting industry) and leaving 1/2 hour for concerned citizens.   Alward and his people are starting to rule à la Harper. 

That's today's summary.  I think I got the facts right. I hope so, at least.

If individuals are going to act up as those two did at a town council meeting, it's not the responsibility of the anti-fracking coalition, which is made up of thoughtful, responsible people acting in concert and in consultation.

Don't make light of the anti-shale gas movement.  First nations, environmentalists, farmers, fisherfolk, and people who've chosen N.B. because of the peaceful way of life and the landscapes, and tourists and tourism-dependent businesses who will suffer from harm to rivers and lakes and potentially to the Bay of Fundy, form this opposition.  We can't be dismissed as just a bunch of cranks.

 

 

 

 

Caissa

The Department of Health is considering delisting the seasonal influenza shot for some high-risk people in New Brunswick.

The provincial government is seeking public input on its plan to no longer offer the seasonal flu shot for free, along with all non-surgical treatments for skin lesions.

Those proposed changes have some New Brunswick doctors worried about the impact on their patients.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/09/14/nb-health-f...

webby66

"Premier Alward said he would act on the commission's report this summer. The energy commission was the centrepiece of Mr. Alward's campaign," Cardy said in a statement.

"Summer ended last Thursday, the weather will soon be getting colder and New Brunswickers will be paying more for their power. All because the Conservatives don't have the courage to implement their own recommendations."

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/09/27/nb-energy-c...

webby66

Feds eye provincial finance deputy for auditor general

New Brunswick NDP Leader Dominic Cardy confirmed yesterday that the Official Opposition in Ottawa had been consulted about the appointment, which hasn't been officially announced. Cardy couldn't say for certain, however, whether Ferguson was the sole candidate presented, or one among a list of potential candidates.

http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/newstoday/article/1443797

Caissa

New Brunswick's jobless rate edged down to 8.9 per cent in September as the economy added 3,000 full-time jobs.

The province's unemployment rate fell for the second straight month, according to Statistics Canada's monthly labour force report that was issued on Friday.

New Brunswick's labour force grew to 387,400 in the last month.

The number of full-time jobs jumped to 294,700, an increase of 3,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the number of part-time jobs shrank to 58,200, a reduction of 300 jobs.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/10/07/nb-unemploy...

Caissa

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs is facing criticism by the Liberals for questioning why so many people are on social assistance when employers cannot fill vacant jobs.

Premier David Alward's government is on track to blow its deficit reduction target by $65 million this year mostly because of overspending in health care and on social assistance payments.

Higgs said in an interview with CBC News that perhaps there aren't enough incentives for social assistance recipients to look for work.

The finance minister said some employers are having trouble filling jobs, while 23,000 people collect social assistance cheques

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/10/13/nb-higgs-ar...

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