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Premier Gallant: Want to avoid a government crisis over $1600? Adopt reverse auction bidding for all contracts, says NDP

FREDERICTON – The recent crisis created by the Liberal government’s signing, and then tearing up, of a $500,000 contract to build snow ploughs, show that change is needed in the way our government runs contracts. Reverse auction bidding offers a better way to protect New Brunswick taxpayers and New Brunswick companies.

New Brunswick New Democratic Party leader Dominic Cardy said, “Reverse auctions are simple: make all bids available for everyone to see, online. Companies can change their bids at any point before the competition closes, making sure New Brunswickers get the most out of every dollar in tax money our government spends. The bidding process should be fully transparent and accessible, and allow companies to see other bids and alter their own bids in real time, to ensure that the best mix of competition and fairness is achieved. This process is used in numerous American states and cities and is a best practice we should adopt here.”

Cardy said: “If Craig Manufacturing had seen that their bid was $1600 higher than the Quebec company who won the contract then Craig’s could have adjusted their price. They could have highlighted the difference in government costs that they felt made their bid the genuine lowest bid.”

Cardy said: “It doesn’t make sense that one local company like Craig’s could lose a huge contract for the sake of $1600 while a company next door could be given millions in government handouts. We need to level the playing field so it’s fair for New Brunswick companies and fair for New Brunswick taxpayers. It’s time to end corporate handouts and time to change the way we do business. Let’s invest in reverse auction bids and save public money.

Because New Brunswick deserves better.”

Teachers before arenas, says Cardy

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is opposed to the Liberal Government’s decision to give $21 million for construction of an arena in Moncton if the money is being taken from teachers and daycares.

“Brian Gallant talks about tough decisions and difficult choices,” Cardy said. “Apparently it’s an easy decision for Mr. Gallant to fire 300 teachers then throw $20 million dollars at an arena.”

“The Liberals need to step up, make the right decision, and get their priorities straight,” Cardy said. “In a CRA poll that came out today 79% of New Brunswickers said they oppose cuts to education. We want investment in education system to come before a new home for a privately-owned hockey team.”

“The choice is simple,” Cardy said. “The Liberals are choosing to neglect kids and families while benefiting those already well off. An NDP government would have vastly different priorities: we will stop handouts to private companies and make the investments in education Mr. Gallant promised in opposition but has discarded as Premier. When the books are balanced and our education system is world class, then we can talk about arenas. Government is about choices. Premier Gallant’s are all wrong.”

“New Brunswick deserves better.”

Job losses show failure of Gallant’s corporate handout economic plan, Cardy says

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is calling for a complete rethink of New Brunswick’s economic development strategy after the latest job figures showed the loss of 5,300 full time jobs in May. This was the largest one-month loss since March 2009, during the global economic crisis.

“The latest job numbers should not come as a surprise,” Cardy said. “The cause is the decades-old culture of Liberal and Tory governments buying jobs and picking winners and losers in the private sector while underinvesting in education and health.”

“The way to create jobs is for the government to liberate the potential of New Brunswickers, to provide education, skills training, and other lifelong learning opportunities and nurture a climate that encourages entrepreneurs, along with providing quality social programs,” Cardy said. “Instead, the Liberal government is cutting teachers and healthcare while handing out over $300 million a year in corporate handouts,” Cardy said.

Cardy highlighted the NDP job creation plan that would see investment in teachers and education, along with eliminating the small business tax and introducing a new jobs tax credit, measures that have proven track records of success elsewhere.

“If slashing education and healthcare and handing out tax dollars to well-connected corporations is the ticket to economic success, New Brunswick would be the richest place on Earth,” Cardy said. “Clearly this isn’t the case.”

“The NDP will provide a government that believes in the potential and ability of New Brunswickers to create and attract jobs.”

Broken Liberal promises a double attack on families and day cares, Cardy says

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is calling Liberal broken promises and cuts an assault on hard working families.

“New Brunswickers simply cannot trust Brian Gallant,” Cardy said after the Liberals admitted to breaking a promise at the center of last summer’s campaign.

“When the Liberals announced the budget in March, it contained nothing about cutting day care subsidies or about breaking a promise to New Brunswick families to help with the high costs of daycare,” Cardy said. “Less than two months later the reality facing parents is fewer day care spaces and higher costs of the remaining ones.”

“To make matters worse, the Liberals are now blaming the Conservatives’ fiscal record for their own broken promises. This is simply preposterous,” Cardy said. “The Liberals knew the situation before announcing the budget and well before the cuts to day cares and the broken promises to parents.”

“Instead of helping low-to-middle income families and making child care more affordable and accessible, Brian Gallant is focused on the same old Liberal pork barrel style politics.”

“Mr. Gallant was supposed to be a different kind of leader,” Cardy said, “but we see now that he is no different from recent Liberal leaders, helping their friends at the cost of everyday average New Brunswickers.”

“New Brunswick deserves better.”

Liberals playing politics with youth mental health disgraceful, Cardy says

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says the decision to build a youth mental health facility in Campbellton is the same old Liberal politics at play.

“Once again the Liberals are blatantly ignoring the advice of several experts,” Cardy said.

“The Liberals are attacking seniors, students, and daycare owners,” Cardy said. “Now they are attacking youth with mental illnesses and their families.”

“This centre simply needs to be built in close proximity to where the majority of kids live,” Cardy said.

“Instead of listening to experts like Bernard Richard and Maureen Bilerman, the Liberals are too worried about whether or not Don Arsenault will get elected again.”

“The Liberals are trying to promote a fight between the north and the south when they should be focused on helping our youth,” Cardy said. “When they should be helping kids like Ashley Smith, they are promoting failed economic development policies.”

“It is utterly shameful,” Cardy said.

“The NDP understands the need for economic development, but this is not the way to achieve that,” Cardy said. “Instead, the NDP work with municipalities allowing them to have decision-making power on their economic futures.”

“New Brunswick deserves better.”

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