Dominic Cardy on conditions for cooperation

FREDERICTON – The following is a statement from NDP Leader Dominic Cardy:

Today, Brian Gallant’s Liberals are spreading rumours about what may happen if no party wins a majority.

Mr. Gallant is increasingly desperate. He is now losing an election he felt entitled to win. Instead of talking policy, he is focusing on power. I am pleased that he has acknowledged the possibility that he may not win a majority.

We hope to defeat Tories and Liberals and form a majority NDP government.

If the people of New Brunswick decide that no party deserves a majority, parties either have to respect that and work together, or there will be another costly, divisive election.

Unlike Mr. Gallant, we will accept whatever mandate the voters give us. Each NDP MLA will work to advance the policies we were elected to advance. We will go motion by motion, bill by bill, issue by issue, respecting our platform.

If no party has a majority, these will be the NDP conditions for co-operating with any other party.

• It must clean up government and pass tough anti-patronage laws.
• It must be fiscally responsible and avoid irresponsible expenditures.
• It must make health care and education their top spending priorities
• It must restore our independent science capacity and avoid hurting the environment, including fracking.
• It must respect the law of contracts and human rights

If you vote NDP, you know what you’re getting….a team of women and men who will use whatever seats we have to advance those issues. Mr. Gallant seeks only a four year blank cheque to do whatever he wants, and he is angry because he’s not getting it.

I have three questions for Mr. Gallant.

1. If your party doesn’t win a majority, will you force an immediate election or will you give the Legislature at least a year to work?
2. If no party has a majority, will you rule out Liberals voting with Conservatives to move ahead on fracking for the length of the mandate?
3. If you fail to get a majority, will you drop your $900million borrowing plan and work with the NDP on funding health and education first?

I await his reply. I am sure he agrees that voters deserve clarity on our plans.

NDP announces plan for early childhood education and lifelong learning

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy laid out his party’s plans for early childhood education and lifelong learning.

Cardy made the announcement this afternoon at the Little Munchkins Preschool Center on Hanwell Rd in Fredericton.

“Building on the work of the McCain Foundation on Early Childhood Education, the new NDP will develop an action plan for a high-quality, affordable and universally accessible early childhood education system,” Cardy said.

“We will work with existing early childhood education centres to ensure all children have the chance to receive the skills and learning they need before entering the school system,” Cardy said. This commitment will cost $35.7 million.

This model is based on the system currently in use in PEI.

“A new NDP government will also work with the District Education Councils to draft a new Covenant on Literacy to provide better services to young people aged 16-26 who have substandard literacy or math skills, or who have not completed Grade 12,” Cardy said.

“While we are committed to achieving a 90% literacy rate in classrooms, we understand that if you have already completed Grade 12 and do not have the math and literacy skills needed to fully participate in the workforce, that is our fault as a province and a government, not yours,” Cardy said.

“Our children deserve better, our students deserve better and New Brunswick deserves better,” Cardy said. “We’re ready to serve.”

Mr. Gallant wrong on the numbers, again

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy has criticized the Liberal attacks on his party’s platform, calling them false.

“Given that Mr. Gallant doesn’t know the math in his own platform, how can he credibly attack ours? At the risk of him throwing more of his staff under the bus, we now have to criticize his numbers again,” Cardy said.

Some of the inaccuracies of the Liberal attack include:

• The Liberals claim that we would rescind the shared risk pension plan and it would cost $162.5 million per year. This is wrong. Our plan is to grandfather the COLA provisions for existing retirees and it will cost $4.2 million per year. Mr. Gallant has misrepresented our policy.

• The Liberals claim that we have not costed the provincial affordable housing strategy. This is wrong. The provincial affordable housing strategy already exists. Our plan is to incorporate the Housing First principles into the strategy which would not have a cost. The housing strategy was part of the Poverty Reduction Plan, which Mr. Gallant has claimed to have read no less than three times.

• The Liberals criticize us for not providing a cost for the restoration of the Petitcodiac River. Our party has committed support for the project on the inclusion of a fair funding formula with the federal government. However, in their own election commitment disclosure the Liberals say the project would have no financial consequences for the province!

These are just some of the many false points in the Liberal attack.

“For the Liberals to be attacking us they must be hearing the same thing at the door as we are,” Cardy said. “That is that New Brunswickers are ready for a change, but they are not willing to gamble with the same old tax and spend Liberals.”

“If the Liberals would pay more attention to their own plans maybe as parties we could have a proper discussion on ideas this last week of the campaign.”

“We’re ready because New Brunswick deserves better.

Liberal plan should be renamed ‘Math is hard’

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says the Liberal criticism of the NDP’s childcare plan is wrong.

“Once again, Mr. Gallant seems more preoccupied with criticizing the NDP plan than actually doing the necessary homework,” Cardy said.

“Mr. Gallant is saying our plan is based on Quebec’s model. It’s actually based on the system currently in use in PEI, which was put in place by a Liberal government,” Cardy said.

“The NDP plan creates 1500 more spaces than Mr. Gallant’s plan for almost the same amount of money,” Cardy said. “The NDP plan also uses existing space in schools and we don’t know how Mr. Gallant’s plan will be implemented.”

“New Brunswick deserves better than baseless Liberal criticism,” Cardy said. “It’s unfortunate that in the last week of this campaign we can’t have meaningful discussion on policy.”

“We’re ready because New Brunswick deserves better.”

NDP announces plan to pay down $1.1 billion on the debt

DIEPPE – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says his party would convert 49% of NB Liquor’s future profits into an income trust which would produce up to $1.1 billion to be applied immediately to the provincial debt.

Cardy made the announcement with candidates and supporters in Dieppe.

“The new NDP is the only party with a clear plan that starts paying down the provincial debt,” Cardy said. “Decades of reckless Liberal and Tory mismanagement of the economy and your tax dollars has left us with an over $12 billion debt.”

“Brian Gallant has said he will borrow $900 million to buy temporary jobs and close to another billion to twin Route 11,” Cardy said. “New Brunswick cannot afford to borrow this money.”

“Converting 49% of NB Liquor’s future profits into an income trust will result in $1.1 billion that we will pay directly on the debt,” Cardy said. “We will sell trust units that will provide New Brunswickers with a safe investment opportunity. NB Liquor employees and New Brunswickers will have access to these units before we sell to them to the wider market.”

“Our plan keeps money in the province that will further spur economic growth, rather than selling bonds to big foreign financial investment firms.”

The New Brunswick Investment Management Corporation will be responsible for setting up and administering the income trust model. The numbers forecasted make this model revenue neutral year-to-year for NB Liquor profits remitted to the province.

“New Brunswick deserves better than the two old parties promising to buy jobs with pavement or shale gas,” Cardy said. “The new NDP is ready for the opportunity to serve. We have a plan to balance the books and to pay down the debt.”

“We’re ready because New Brunswick deserves better.”

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