News

A message from Myanmar !

January 29, 2018
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Dear Jennifer:

Tonight, I join from afar with your friends and family, and our party members around the province to celebrate your nomination as our candidate for Saint John Harbour. And, I also offer my congratulations and best wishes to you as our Party Leader in the coming election.

It was my great honour and privilege to represent the people of Saint John Harbour as their MLA, representing the New Democratic Party. I look forward to you taking your seat in the Legislature to continue that tradition.

Saint John Harbour is, indeed, the resilient heart of the city of Saint John. We have been truly encouraged in recent years by the increasing diversity of our residents and the increasing number of businesses that have located here. And, as well, through the years so many community and labour organizations have enriched community life through their efforts and generosity. This constituency deserves the engaged leadership that you will bring.

And I profoundly believe New Brunswickers are yearning for political leaders who demonstrate genuine respect for our democratic institutions of government, in particular, our Legislative Assembly. New Brunswickers are yearning for leaders who value and practice public accountability to citizens – leaders who will put it front and centre in their legislative and political work.

Jennifer, your strong voice speaking against the cynical handover of our extra-mural public health service to Medavie, and the need for a living wage for minimum wage workers in New Brunswick has been so very welcome and is so badly needed during these difficult days.

I believe your integrity, and energy will make a vital contribution to restoring the confidence of so many people in our province, whose trust and confidence in the people they elect has been deeply eroded by successive Liberal and Conservative governments. These parties shamefully have treated our government as nothing more than their very own candy store, always putting their own private interests ahead of the public interest of citizens and communities.

Saint John Harbour needs you as our MLA! Our province needs your voice in the Legislative Assembly.

For surely “as long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world – none of us can rest.” These words resonate as strongly today as when Nelson Mandela first spoke them.

All good wishes.
Elizabeth Weir

NB-NDP is Hiring !

NB-NDP Communications Specialist

The New Brunswick New Democratic Party is seeking an individual to fill the position of Communications Specialist.

The Communications Specialist reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for development and implementation of the NB-NDP communications plan.

The successful applicant must have proven skills and experience in all aspects of communications including written communications, media relations, advertising, and development of social media profile and content.

Qualifications include post- secondary education in communications or journalism or equivalent experience . Ability to communicate in English and French required. Salary commensurate with experience.

Applications must be received at the NBNDP at info@nbndp.ca with resume on or before 4:30 pm on Friday, March 2, 2018. All applications will remain confidential.

Jennifer McKenzie, NBNDP Leader, nominated in Saint John Harbour

Media release

For Immediate release

January 31 2018

 

Jennifer McKenzie, NBNDP Leader nominated in Saint John Harbour

Saint John – Jennifer McKenzie, Leader of the New Brunswick NDP was acclaimed as candidate for the NDP for the next election in the provincial constituency of Saint John Harbour at a meeting of the constituency association tonight in Saint John.

Ms.  McKenzie in her acceptance speech said, “I accept the nomination of New Democrats in Saint John Harbour and pledge to you tonight to work as hard as I can to win the confidence of the voters of this riding.  With your help we will reach out to everyone in Saint John Harbour, connect with them and show them why sending an NDP member to the Legislature will make a difference in their lives”

A key point in her address was youth leaving the province,

“The concerns raised most often around the province are that our youth are leaving. Young men and women here in this riding tell me they want to stay in Saint John and make their lives here. “

“For youth to stay here, we must put a stop to precarious work where youth and too many others have to work two or three jobs to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.  Benefits must be the norm rather than the exception.  Why work for $11 an hour here, when they can move elsewhere and find full time employment?  That is why I will fight to bring the minimum wage to $15 “

She also talked about making women’s voices heard,

“Another concern is that womens’ voices are not being heard and respected. We must make the voices of women a priority in our political discussions, and address their issues such as safety from violence, access to doctors and clinics,   affordable universal and accessible daycare so single women and indeed all men and women can participate in the economy”

Media contact:

David Brown

Executive Director

NBNDP

info@nbndp.ca  or david.brownconsult@bellaliant.net

506 651-8203

Statement on Child Care Action Plan

First, we congratulate the government on finally coming out with the childcare plan they promised in the last election albeit very late in their mandate. Most of the funding is committed after the election this September and therefore this may be more about getting re-elected than helping families.

Second, it does not seem as though the perspective of parents has been considered in their plan. Where is it made easy and convenient for parents to access the childcare or the subsidies? Sometimes the barriers to accessing childcare are more than simply financial but include convenience, location or transportation.

Key elements of quality childcare services do not appear to be fully considered such as universality, flexibility and ease of access. There should be no wait lists, for example.

Jennifer McKenzie
Leader of the New Brunswick NDP

New Year’s Pledges from the NDP

In December, I pledged as my New Year’s resolutions to fight against child poverty and to be a strong voice for New Brunswick women.  The New Democratic Party’s first platform plank gives me a running start towards meeting these pledges.

In November, the NDP announced that we would implement a $15 per hour minimum wage. Thirty-six percent of all workers in New Brunswick make less than $15 and typically 50% more women than men fall into this category.  Raising the minimum wage will go a long way towards achieving pay equity for the women making the lowest wages and allowing them to live in dignity.

The Saint John Human Development Council released its report on child poverty in November called The Face of Child Poverty in New Brunswick.   New Brunswick has some of the highest child poverty rates in Canada with Campbellton and Saint John having eye-popping 33.9% and 30% respectively in 2015.  Saint John’s Wards 2 and 3 have child poverty rates of 41.4% and 45.3% and 49.4% of children belonging to single parent families live in poverty. Not surprisingly, one of the key recommendations in their report is to raise the minimum wage.

But it’s not just about fighting poverty, it’s good for the economy too. Many of the lowest paying jobs are in retail, tourism and service industries.  When people work for larger corporations, the profits earned off their backs quickly leave this province.  An extra dollar in the pocket of a low wage New Brunswicker will be re-spent and recycled into the local economy.  People who buy services will likely not be deterred by a few extra cents on the cost of their meal or a dollar on the price of a service.

Some of the feedback we have received is about the burden this places on small businesses.  The NDP would phase the increase in over four years and would look at ways to mitigate some of the more difficult transitions.  However, when we look at other jurisdictions who raised base salaries, small and local businesses still flourish and the statistics do not support doom and gloom prophesies.  As a former small business person, I know that a stable and motivated work force –where employees don’t have to work several jobs to make ends meet – is good for business.

The NDP is also taking a good hard look at the healthcare industry.  We are increasingly concerned by the Gallant government’s tendency towards privatization.  As the dollars flow from the federal health ministry, they are subject to the Canada Health Act and should be administered by the government.  This legislation was enacted for good reason: public servants serve the public while private companies serve their shareholders.  It is clear to us, as it was to medicare’s founder Tommy Douglas, that it’s worth fighting for a well administered and well managed public healthcare system.

The NDP also pledges to enact comprehensive reform to the property tax system.  The continued mis-steps of the Gallant government hit property owners and small businesses first with outrageous increases and then finally passed through to a tax freeze on municipalities who have to balance their budgets making painful cuts to services.

Nowhere has this hit harder than in Saint John where starting with the hiring of an American firm to low ball Canaport LNG’s property taxes through to the property tax freeze, it is hard to imagine this file being managed worse.

I look forward to talking to you about your priorities in the coming months are we ramp up for September’s election.

 

Jennifer McKenzie, New Brunswick New Democratic Party Leader

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