NDP statement on SCC end-of-life ruling

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling on end-of-life care today while emphasizing the need for the New Brunswick government to comply in a considered way that ensures the protection of vulnerable groups.

“We’ve seen a clear legal trend in Canada with courts acknowledging that when faced with difficult moral questions where there are no easy answers, that the constitution protects the right of individuals to make their own decisions, and their judgment is usually better than the government’s. The NDP supports the protection and dignity of human life, while giving more power to individuals to control their own lives – including the way their lives end.”

“However, the Court’s ruling reaffirms that health is regulated provincially. It is up to the provinces to ensure that strong, balanced that strong, balanced regulations are quickly put in place – to protect medical practitioners, to ensure informed decision making, and most of all to protect vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities from abuse. The Court has given us guidelines, now it’s up to the province to comply with the Constitution.”

Cardy concluded, “This issue is too big for politics and the timetable of one year established by the Court means change is coming. The Premier should avoid delay and opposition parties should avoid partisan criticism. An all-party committee including medical professionals and advocates for groups at risk, sitting as equals, should be quickly formed to ensure a caring and thoughtful response from the government and people of New Brunswick. I hope the Premier will also work with other provinces to ensure a consistent approach to a difficult question. The NDP will do whatever it can be to be helpful in this process”.

NDP welcomes opening of Clinic 554

FREDERICTON – The NDP is welcoming the opening of new health clinic focused on providing health services to underserved groups in the province.

NDP Chief of Staff Brian Duplessis says the new clinic is positive news for the province for several reasons.

“Clinic 554 opening up at the site of the former Morgentaler clinic is the result of the combined efforts of progressive members of the medical community, Reproductive Justice New Brunswick and Fredericton Youth Feminists. It is wonderful news for furthering access to reproductive healthcare,” Duplessis said.

“Clinic 554 will provide a judgement-free zone for vulnerable and underserved groups in the province providing an important step for New Brunswick to develop a more progressive and inclusive healthcare system.”

The NDP gave credit to Premier Brian Gallant when he began the process of removing the barriers to abortion services in New Brunswick. We are now calling on the Premier to finish the job and fully fund the procedure in Clinic 554 as it is elsewhere in Canada. At the same time he should press his Minister of Health to immediately begin the provision of abortion services in hospitals throughout the province.

Duplessis said the clinic also provides an opportunity for the province to have a discussion about reforming the way some health services are delivered.

“Just like the Morgentaler clinic before it, Clinic 554 is going to be an example of how the private provision of public healthcare could be vital piece of our healthcare system,” Duplessis said.

“We believe that innovative, private providers of public healthcare can definitely be an opportunity to modernize how the province ensures timely and universal access to free, publicly-funded healthcare services.”

NDP Council unanimously rejects Cardy’s resignation, requests him to stay as leader

FREDERICTON – On Saturday the NDP provincial executive and council unanimously rejected the resignation offered by Dominic Cardy and requested that he continue as leader.

Stephen Yardy, Executive Director of the New Brunswick NDP, said that Council and Executive’s actions were on side with the showing of support for Cardy that he has received from hundreds of members over the past couple of months.

“It is clear to me that the membership want Dominic to stay on and lead this party into the next election,” Yardy said.

Yardy said that the unanimous vote from the council proved that the party indeed wanted Cardy to continue on as leader.

“Along with the motion at council, there was a letter signed by the vast majority of former candidates and a great outpouring of support from members and supporters,” Yardy said. “It is clear that Dominic is the best person for the job and I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

Cardy was humbled when he heard the party was requesting he continue as leader, but he also stressed that there are many years of hard work ahead him and the party after the election results in September.

“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us,” Cardy said. “But I look forward to continuing to work with our team to ensure that this province is better served.”

Throne Speech lacking specifics to tackle debt & deficit, protect social programs Cardy says

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says the Liberal government’s first throne speech lacks plans to deal with the economy, the deficit and the debt.

“It is clear, from this throne speech, that Brian Gallant has no plan to balance the books, tackle the debt and turning this economy around,” Cardy said. “Instead, we hear the same old Liberal rhetoric. We’ve already seen from leaked Liberal emails that this means more for friends of the government.”

“We have a $400 million deficit; our debt is over $12 billion,” Cardy said, “We cannot afford to borrow $900 million to give to Liberal paving companies.”

“Brian Gallant had a chance to show New Brunswickers that he could govern differently,” Cardy said. “This is a missed opportunity end billions in handouts to corporations, a missed opportunity for real action on the economy and a missed opportunity for real change in New Brunswick.”

“We applaud increases in the minimum wage and other small steps to make life better for New Brunswick families,” Cardy said, “but increases in spending have to be matched by savings – and I saw no plan for the government to move in the right direction. New Brunswick deserves better.”

Dominic Cardy expresses support for suspended Fredericton High School students

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is expressing his support for the students who were suspended from Fredericton High School last week.

“I find the way these young women have been treated is disgraceful,” Cardy said. “It is unfathomable that they were suspended just because they expressed displeasure with school policy.”

“Forcing our youth to conform to outdated ideas is short-sighted,” Cardy said. “We need to encourage tomorrow’s leaders, and engage with them, not punish them.”

“Suspending these young women from extracurricular activities for the rest of the school year could damage their futures,” Cardy said. “What is even more worrying is that female participants in the protests seem to have been punished without the young men receiving the same treatment. This shows the importance of the discussion around the dress code,” Cardy said. “We strongly encourage the administration to rethink its position.”

“You can’t bar someone from re-entering a school simply because they walked outside to peacefully protest,” Cardy said.

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