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NDP debt free as of April 1st is no April Fools’ joke

FREDERICTON – As of April 1st the New Brunswick NDP will officially be debt free.

“With the help of our outgoing Treasurer, countless volunteers and donors, the New Brunswick NDP has cleaned up all of its debt from decades past,” said Executive Director, Stephen Yardy. “As of April 1, we will have made the final payment on our election loan.”

“This definitely is not an April Fool’s joke,” Yardy said. “Our final payment is $13,000 and this ensures that we are ready to build for the next election earlier than ever before.”

“Through the hard work and vigorous efforts of our Treasurer, Executive and Leader we’ve paid down more than $30,000 in debt since 2010 along with erasing more than one hundred thousand in bad debt.”

“This is a monumental and symbolic day for us as a party,” Yardy said. “Simply, the New Brunswick NDP is in its best position ever to hold the two old parties to account.”

NDP calls on Minister to clarify bilingual school buses in Kent County

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is calling on Education Minister Serge Rousselle to clarify the use of bilingual buses in the Francophone South and Anglophone North districts. Students from the École Soleil Levant in Richibucto are traveling on Anglophone North school buses, something Minister Rousselle has said is a violation of minority language rights.

“If Minister Rousselle, as the government’s chief legal interpreter and Minister of Education, has a legal basis for the statements he’s made about shared busing,” Cardy said, “then why is he permitting a clear violation of the Charter within the department he’s supposed to be running? He either doesn’t know the law or he doesn’t know his department. Neither is acceptable.”

On March 17 Rousselle criticised Cardy, saying the latter was wrong in stating a bilingual bus system was not clearly protected under the provisions granting a dual education system.

Cardy said, “Minister Rouselle is in the right place to fix this problem. Call for a judicial reference to decide if school buses are part of the dual education system. If the court rules that they are the NDP will support that decision, as we support duality. If not we are talking about support services, not rights, and we can have a fact-based discussion. What’s happening in Kent County is either legal, or it’s not. New Brunswick’s kids shouldn’t be paying the price for Serge Rousselle’s politicking,” Cardy said.

The NDP has consistently called for an expansion of minority language rights, especially in the areas of health and local government, and for a provincial dialogue on making New Brunswick a truly bilingual province.

NDP calls for a ban on corporate handouts to avoid another Atcon

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy welcomes the report from the Auditor General on the Atcon scandal and repeated his party’s position for a legislative ban on corporate welfare.

“This report finally highlights what we’ve all known,” Cardy said. “The Graham Liberals gave away $70 million of taxpayers’ money to Liberal insiders despite numerous efforts from expert civil servants warning them that Atcon was in financial ruin.”

“It isn’t a matter of if, but when there will be another Atcon,” said Cardy. “The Liberals and PCs have shown no willingness to implement any of the recommendations from the Auditor General. Instead, they seem more than happy to continue handing out taxpayer money to their well connected friends.”

“The blatant disregard for public money shown by the Liberals borders on criminal,” Cardy said. “The only way to even begin to make amends, is to implement the Auditor General’s recommendations and stop partisan corruption now.”

“Big handouts to corporations, many of which go bankrupt, do not create jobs for New Brunswickers,” Cardy said. “That’s why the NDP launched a petition to ban corporate welfare. Because New Brunswick deserves better.”

NDP statement on International Women’s Day

FREDERICTON – The following is a statement from NDP Leader Dominic Cardy for International Women’s Day:

“On this day we celebrate the historic sacrifices and achievements that women have made over centuries in the battle for equal rights.

“Even though there has been significant advances made since we began recognizing this day, as a society we still have a great distance to go until women can truly enjoy equal rights.

“We need to work together to ensure that we finally fill the gaps on pay equity. Equal pay for equal work is something that has to happen now.

“We also need to stop ignoring the specific issues that are facing some of our most vulnerable women in society. As a party we support Thomas Mulcair and the federal NDP’s call for an independent inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

“We also support Premier Brian Gallant’s current initiative to ensure that more women are placed in positions on government boards and agencies. We will continue to monitor this initiative and assist in any way we can.

“As a party, we look forward to continuing the fight for women’s rights.”

NDP launches online petition calling for the end of corporate handouts in New Brunswick

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy has announced the creation of an online petition for the end of corporate handouts in New Brunswick.

“Liberal and Tory governments have wasted hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money in embarrassing attempts to buy jobs,” Cardy said. “Instead of simply making New Brunswick a good place to do business, Liberals and Tories have been more focused on helping their friends.”

“As the current government is circling the province searching for ways to right our fiscal situation, the NDP is suggesting a simple way to save roughly $200 million a year,” Cardy said.

On the petition, which launches today on the NDP website, Cardy asks supporters to join him in the fight to end corporate handouts.

“Everywhere I go I hear from New Brunswickers that they are tired of the New Brunswick government giving away their tax dollars to well connected corporations. I couldn’t agree more,” Cardy said. “Every dollar that goes to more corporate handouts is one less dollar going to our children’s education system, one less dollar going into our healthcare system and one more dollar on our provincial debt.”

“Join me in saying enough is enough. Let’s end the corporate handouts! Because New Brunswick deserves better!”

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