Liberals gouge more from most vulnerable, Cardy says

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says Liberal’s first budget is a clear attack on seniors, teachers and students.

“Brian Gallant had a choice to reform the way New Brunswick governments spend money,” Cardy said. “Instead, he has decided to attack New Brunswick’s seniors, teachers and students. The money gouged from our most vulnerable will now go to fund $300 million more in failed corporate welfare methods.”

“Liberals are attacking seniors by forcing spouses and families to pay double for nursing home placements as well much more for medications,” Cardy said. “New Brunswick seniors have worked hard their whole lives to build up their own contingency funds and now having them stolen by this Liberal government.”

“I cited the example from École Sainte-Anne last week where classes have to sit in the cafeteria because there are not enough teachers,” Cardy said. “Now the Liberals are going to fire 249 more teachers.”

“How will Brian Gallant ensure that New Brunswick’s students are getting the education they deserve,” Cardy said? How are the Liberals going to fix the 56% functional illiteracy problem with 249 less educators?”

“Add to this that the Liberals have taken no action on improving day care plans or increasing funding,” Cardy said. “Once again, early childhood education is taking a back seat to the Liberal corporate welfare machine.”

“The Liberals are going to close rural Service New Brunswick stations, simultaneously forcing New Brunswickers to pay more in fuel while wasting more tax dollars to take their high-powered friends fishing at Larry’s Gulch,” said Cardy.

“The Liberals have also proven that they are unwilling to help retain new graduates in New Brunswick as they begin their careers and families,” Cardy said. “Cutting the tuition rebate absolutely sends the wrong message to our youth.”

“This budget is a complete failure to reign in and reform government spending,” Cardy said. “Instead, these are the same old tax and spend Liberals who are prepared to steal more from hard working, struggling New Brunswick families.”

“New Brunswick definitely deserves better.”

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.”

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