FREDERICTON – New Brunswick NDP Leader Dominic Cardy offered his support for the new federal Liberal government’s platform commitment to legalize marijuana, saying New Brunswick should take immediate steps to prepare for the change in federal law.
“The new federal government has made it clear they will change the law. New Brunswick needs to make sure we are ready: both to take advantage of the opportunities offered by legalization and to mitigate the risks,” Cardy said.
Cardy called for Premier Gallant to prepare for discussions with the federal government around the production, distribution, and taxation of marijuana. He said, “There needs to be a discussion with different departments so we are ready, as a province, when legalization gets the green light.”
“The federal Liberal platform says the marijuana laws will be drafted with the provinces. We encourage the provincial government to look at the experience in Colorado, where, if you adjust based on the relative size of our economy, taxing marijuana under the current HST plus a 15% excise tax would bring in an around $4.7 million in year one and $10.2 million in year two,” Cardy said.
There would be notable savings in law enforcement costs, as 70 percent of drug crimes in New Brunswick are cannabis-related offences. “If we stop treating marijuana users as criminals to a substance most users consume responsibly with a few who will need help, we can free up police resources for coping with much more serious offences,” Cardy said.
Cardy called for the government to prepare for legalized marijuana by introducing breathalyser tests for cannabis and other drugs. “Legal marijuana has to mean responsible marijuana use; we need to see the penalties for drunk driving applied to anyone who gets behind the wheel when intoxicated, no matter the reason.”
FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is criticizing today’s Throne Speech, saying Brian Gallant and the Liberals are still willfully ignoring the real issues and wasteful spending in New Brunswick.
“The Liberals are ready to raise taxes on every New Brunswicker. They are continuing to attack teachers and the education system, ensuring that New Brunswick’s children are not getting the world class education they deserve,” Cardy said. “They are promising higher taxes for fewer services.”
“The Throne Speech and the program review shows that only two things are sacred to this government: patronage appointments and corporate handouts,” Cardy said. “Everything else – your job, your child’s education, your retirement savings, your local hospital – is on the table.It’s time for Brian Gallant to stop putting politics first.”
“Every year the government wastes hundreds of millions on handouts to corporations, something the Gallant Liberals are fine with,” Cardy said. “The Liberals have given us Atcon. They have given us the mess with the Bas Caraquet shipyard. Before more taxes and firing teachers, this waste should be targeted as a significant cost-saving measure.”
“Once the money is gone, these companies pack up and leave, if they don’t go bankrupt before that” Cardy said. “The most recent example being the Minacs call centre announcing its closing last week. When will the government stop this short sighted and failed policy of simply handing millions to big corporations?”
“The Liberals have shown that as long as they get to cut ribbons, they’re willing to cut schools, hospitals, social programs and senior care,” Cardy said. “New Brunswick has paid too much for the “politics first, people second” approach of Brian Gallant. We don’t need more of the same.”
FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says the Liberal government has missed an opportunity to turn New Brunswick around with today’s government spending review announcement.
“There is no plan to stop hundreds of millions in failed corporate handouts,” Cardy said. “Ironic today when the Minacs call centre in Bathurst closes and Minacs in Fredericton says it will soon follow.” Minacs received $1.5 million from the provincial government in 2011.
“The government has already cut 300 teachers and millions in education resources. Now they want fewer teachers and bigger class sizes,” Cardy said. “Brian Gallant, Victor Boudreau and Serge Rousselle need to let teachers, parents, and principals run the school system – and perhaps head back to school themselves.”
“Today’s announcement is a missed opportunity. There is no talk of serious reform. No talk about hard choices on healthcare spending. Just cutting into programs we need and ignoring the waste that Liberals want. This is a plan to drive taxes up, services down, and investment out,” Cardy said. “The NDP has already proposed hundreds of millions of dollars in spending reductions. The Liberals have shown they’re not ready to listen and unable to lead.”
The NDP will offer a detailed response to the government’s announcement in the coming week.
FREDERICTON – New Brunswick NDP Leader Dominic Cardy responded to today’s press conference by Official Languages Commissioner Katherine d’Entremont in regards the ongoing investigation around language services offered at a government office.
Cardy expressed concern that d’Entremont continues to ignore the heart of the controversy: no person should be sole witness and investigator to their own complain. “You can’t be your own judge and jury,” Cardy said. “Ms. d’Entremont should have someone else in her office, or a qualified person from another office, undertake the investigation into the complaint she filed.”
Cardy continued to express concern over the lack of protection for the employee in question. “One of the key features of our legal system is innocence until proven guilty. The Commissionaire should not be punished until the facts of the case are known,” Cardy said. “I recognize the contractor is the responsible party here and they need to take action to protect their employees.”
FREDERICTON – New Brunswick NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is criticizing the proposed tax changes for used cars. These changes would see HST paid on the sale price or industry-determined price, whichever was higher. Currently, the tax is paid on the appraised value of the used car. Cardy said it is a back door tax hike by a Liberal government trying to balance the budget on the backs of consumers.
“It’s easy for cabinet ministers, who drive taxpayer-funded cars, to forget the financial burden they place on regular folks with unfair regulations,” Cardy said. “Instead of balancing the budget by cutting $300 million in corporate handouts, the Gallant government is nickel-and-diming New Brunswickers. Increased car registration charges, increased gas taxes and now this – the Liberals are hitting hard working New Brunswickers with more tax increases.”
Cardy said that the proposals are an unwelcome intrusion by the government into private business dealings. “The proposed regulations say no car can be valued below $1,000 for tax purposes. They say you can’t get an appraisal to determine a car’s value. That’s simply not how the market works. This proposal is a tax grab and it will only increase black market sales.”
“Premier Gallant needs to go after big ticket waste, like the millions handed out to a now failing shipbuilding project, and stop gouging New Brunswickers,” Cardy said.