NDP Would Give More Powers to Municipalities

Saint-Léolin – CARAQUET – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says a new NDP government would give more powers to local governments. Cardy made the announcement with Mathieu Chayer, the mayor of Saint-Léolin and the NDP candidate for Caraquet.

“New Brunswick has the weakest Municipalities Act in the country,” Cardy said. “A new NDP will make it the strongest.”

The strengthening of the Municipalities Act will include:

  •  Economic development should be controlled by municipalities, not the Premier’s office
  • Clear powers and resources so municipalities don’t have to get permission from Fredericton for common sense decisions
  • Financial incentives for municipalities who want to work together to better serve their residents as part of a reformed and simplified equalization formula.
  • An elected local government for every New Brunswicker; training for elected officials and municipal administrators
  • Reform Regional Service Commissions to put them under the control of member communities, not a vehicle for orders from the Premier’s office

“As a mayor I know what needs to be done to make our municipal governments work.  And I know the new NDP and Dominic Cardy are the only party ready to give real powers to local governments, and to take it away from Fredericton,” said M. Chayer.

Responding to the release, Black’s Harbour mayor and NDP candidate for Fundy-The Isles-Saint John West, Terry James, said “The foundation of a strong province are its communities. The new NDP gets that, the Liberals and Conservatives want to keep the power in Fredericton. We’re going to change that.”

“Instead of patronage projects, we will empower municipalities to control their own destinies,” Cardy said. “A new NDP government will meet twice yearly with the municipal government associations, as equals, to map out a shared vision.  Because New Brunswick deserves better.”

NDP will put an end to corporate welfare

MIRAMICHI – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy says the new NDP would put an end to corporate welfare. Cardy made the announcement in front of the old Atcon site near Miramichi Friday.

“The moment a new NDP government takes office, the era of corporate bailouts is over,” Cardy said. “Let what happened right here be a lesson that Liberal and Tory policies create debt, not jobs.”

Cardy pointed out that the culture of Liberal and Conservative corporate welfare has left New Brunswick with one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada.  Between 2005 and 2011 the Liberals, and then the Conservatives, gave $150 million to companies that no longer exist.

“Corporate welfare chokes off economic growth and discourages investors. Liberals and Conservatives love talking about ‘creating jobs’ but often that means bribing outside companies with your tax dollars,” Cardy said.  “It doesn’t work. New Brunswick deserves better.”

Cardy said the NDP job creation plan involves a New Jobs Tax Credit, eliminating the small business tax, and investments in skills training and education.

“We have to stop repeating the failed policies of the past. We have to combine New Brunswickers’ integrity and hard work with international best practices for getting this economy back on track. Only the new NDP is proposing a specific plan to balance the books, create jobs and save our healthcare, education and social programs.”

News Story – Cardy reveals plans to strengthen economy, attacks Gallant

The following appeared on the Telegraph Journal website on August 28, 2014:

ADAM HURAS      Legislature Bureau

SAINT JOHN – New Democrat Leader Dominic Cardy has revealed several new planks of his party’s election platform aimed at strengthening the provincial economy.

In a speech to business leaders in the Port City on Thursday, Cardy also spent nearly a quarter of his time at the podium discrediting Brian Gallant and a proposed Liberal economic strategy – suggesting it comes from “an inexperienced leader listening uncritically to the backrooms of his party.”

Cardy told a Saint John chamber crowd that an NDP government would introduce a research and development tax credit to promote business growth.

It would also increase the New Brunswick Investment Tax Credit cap to $500,000, making it the highest on the eastern seaboard, and establish regionally competitive tax credits for angel investors, “encouraging them to give New Brunswick start-ups a helping hand.”

The NDP would also create a Tourism Marketing Fund, to be collected via a hotel levy.

The moves are in addition to a previously-released pledge to eliminate the small business tax.

Cardy also announced on Thursday that the New Democrats will end the over $150 million the province spends annually on corporate bailouts in the form of grants and non-repayable loans.

The NDP has also pitched to close the Department of Economic Development, only keeping elements of the existing framework – such as the offices coordinating trade missions and investment opportunities, but now under the Department of Finance.

Cardy then provided new details of a jobs tax credit to reward companies that create new jobs.

“This tax credit will be available to any employer who creates a new job: no politics, no complicated bureaucracy,” Cardy said. “The new jobs tax credit works.

“Six of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates used a jobs tax credit to jump-start their economies.”

Cardy said economists predict that the jobs tax credit will create between 15,000 and 20,000 jobs within four years.

The speech also included a commitment to allow more advertising opportunities on our province’s highways – “giving great New Brunswick businesses a critical tool to reach new customers,” Cardy said.

The New Democrat leader said the addition of a Tourism Marketing Fund – to be collected through a hotel levy – represents a community-based and self-supporting approach to economic development that sees local stakeholders take responsibility for fund management and investment decision-making.

“It’s an idea that has been endorsed by the province’s tourism associations – we need to make it happen,” Cardy said.

Despite being in Saint John, the speech focused little on energy development projects.

“Here in Saint John we are excited about the possibilities of new projects, from the pipeline to the new export terminal,” Cardy said. “We support the development of the new barge terminal, to open our markets to the world.”

He then spoke at great length about the Liberal’s economic development plan to date – taking direct aim at a pitch to spend $900-million on infrastructure over six years.

“Mr. Gallant says that after he borrows nearly a billion dollars, we will have 1,700 jobs for people to build infrastructure,” Cardy said. “The math is straight forward, and it is devastating. That means government is spending $88,000 per job, per year.

“By the end government will have spent $529,000, over half a million dollars, per job. And that doesn’t take into account the interest.”

He added: “This is not a stimulus program. No government today would propose a six year stimulus plan, because if you still need it six years later, it isn’t stimulating anything.”

For the first time on the campaign trail, Cardy then took aim at Gallant himself.

“Only an inexperienced leader listening uncritically to the backrooms of his party could sign off on this plan,” Cardy said. “If an opposition leader does that, it’s embarrassing for him. But of a premier signs off on this plan, it’s devastating for us all.”

Cardy continued, suggesting the Liberals will raise the HST to afford its promises.

“I detest stupid spending that gives government a bad name,” he said. “So when I hear Mr. Gallant muse about increasing the HST, to pay for programs that benefit his supporters, it is a reminder to all politicians of the work we have to do to regain the public’s trust.”

Cardy’s remarks at the Delta Brunswick Hotel were the first from the three major provincial party leaders.

The Saint John chamber will host Liberal Leader Brian Gallant next week and Progressive Conservative leader David Alward in mid-September.

Cardy continues to frame the New Democrats as the electorate’s most fiscally responsible option.

“This is not a question just of spending, or just of revenue, or of right or of left,” Cardy said.

“It’s a question of governance.

“We offer clear policies to balance the books, to create jobs, to save our healthcare and education systems.”


SAINT JOHN – In a policy speech to the Saint John regional Chambers of Commerce, NDP leader Dominic Cardy laid out his party’s vision for economic development.

“We don’t need big government, or small government, we need good government,” said Cardy, who made it clear that only the new NDP offered a change from the idea that government was responsible for direct job creation.

“Government has to create the condition for job creation and that means investments in education and healthcare. That can’t be done until we balance the books. Government has to create the right environment for businesses to succeed. These policies show the approach a new NDP government would take.

Among other ideas, a new NDP government will:

Close the Department of Economic Development, keeping elements that work – such as the offices coordinating trade missions and investment opportunities – under the Department of Finance.

Introduce a New Jobs Tax Credit to reward companies that create new jobs. This tax credit will be available to any employer who creates a new job: no politics, no complicated bureaucracy.

Introduce a Research and Development Tax Credit to promote business growth, encouraging companies to grow right here in New Brunswick.

Increase the New Brunswick Investment Tax Credit cap to $500,000, making it the highest on the Eastern seaboard.

Establish regionally competitive tax credits for angel investors, encouraging them to give New Brunswick start-ups a helping hand.

Work with our university and community college network to establish angel investor hubs on campuses across New Brunswick, letting our students turn their new ideas into tomorrow’s business success stories.

Support the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and will strengthen links between universities, community colleges, and individuals with creative ideas to develop new concepts, products, and companies through continued support for the NBIF.

Support social enterprises by expanding the policy development work undertaken by the Advisory Committee on Social Enterprise and Community Investment Funds and the Co-operative Enterprise Council of New Brunswick.

Create the Tourism Marketing Fund, to be collected via a hotel levy.

Support the development of a new Spruce Lake barge terminal.”

Commentary – Dominic Cardy must parlay all that charisma into tangible policy

The following commentary appeared in the Times & Transcript on August 27, 2014:


Today, a look at New Brunswick’s ‘third’ party, the NDP.

They matter

Even the governing, hair-splitting Tories take the NDP seriously and didn’t try to get them omitted from the televised election debate on the grounds they’ve never had much success.

It looks like a huge long shot, but it’s not out of the question the NDP could win the election or Official Opposition. If they can win in Nova Scotia, Ontario and become Official Opposition in Ottawa, they can win here too.

NDP leader Dominic Cardy represents the best chance the party has ever had here. Whether it translates to votes, and how many, we’ll see. Yet I think it’d be a mistake for either Tories or Liberals to under-estimate the NDP.


If the two traditional parties continue to largely ignore our most crucial problem, combined with an increasingly jaded electorate, they could themselves become one of the NDP’s advantages.

Voters want something new and fresh and Mr. Cardy fits the bill better than any other leader. Brian Gallant is new, but hardly fresh with the same old politics and policies.

Not even much-admired Elizabeth Weir moved the NDP ahead electorally. Mr. Cardy is our first-ever NDP leader to create a genuine ‘buzz’ among the public.

He’s possibly the best speaker of the lot.

He’s dropped the usual facile NDP rhetoric and focused on practical issues and common sense solutions. That’s irritated some of the party’s old guard, but it’s working. Polls, while still showing low support, are among the highest the party’s seen in New Brunswick. Nor has he dropped the party’s basic social conscience. As he’s said, if you really want change, you must first get elected – ideals are fine; realism essential.

Fiscal reality

Mr. Cardy is the only leader to bluntly state an obvious truth: we must first address our woefully bad fiscal situation before anything else. He notes that if we don’t, little else will be possible. It’s common sense and true. Pretending otherwise is dishonest, delusional or both.


Less certain is whether NDP policies are capable of addressing the fiscal crisis. Mr. Cardy is sending out mixed signals. He say we must address it but has left the ‘how’ vague. At this writing he hasn’t released the party’s full platform, so that may change.

He was only one of two leaders who told Brunswick News that if some schools no longer make economic sense, it’s only logical they be closed; that’s positive recognition that structural problems are costly. But on neither this nor the question of having too many hospitals did Mr. Cardy make a firm commitment to such necessary change. He hedged.

His promise to trim the cabinet to 10 ministers is a great start, but will he carry through to downsize the entire bloated bureaucracy and government? It’s unclear.

More worrisome to me is Mr. Cardy’s plan to reduce taxes for small businesses. I’d suggest it’s already a failed policy and with our enormous debt, we need more revenue, not less. A percentage point rise in the HST and other taxes would be wiser. And perhaps it’s time to put toll booths at all the highway entry points to the province, ensuring fairness within it. The deal to get rid of a badly structured and unfair toll highway deal has been hugely costly. Let’s stem the future losses fairly.

Mr. Cardy promises to put considerable liquor revenues toward paying down debt, but first he’ll need to eliminate deficits. Privatizing sales would increase liquor revenues. Only then would using some to pay down debt make sense.


Perhaps most dubious is Mr. Cardy’s promise to restore the old terms of the public service pension plans. He insists this will only cost a few million dollars a year. I don’t know how that’s calculated but it’s way out of whack with what the government says forced it to act, as well as with the experience in provinces across the nation. The plans are proving ruinously expensive without reasonable reform.

That’s not something New Brunswick can afford. If Mr. Cardy has found a magic solution, he needs to share it and let independent experts confirm it’s realistic.

To date, Mr. Cardy and the NDP are at least realistic in knowing they must deal with our fiscal situation first and they know it’ll take hard decisions. That’s better than the delusions of the other parties, especially the Liberals and Tories. But like the Liberals and Tories, the NDP are still far from having a coherent, effective plan to avoid insolvency.

The last word

Here’s Ralph Nader:

“I once said to my father, when I was a boy, ‘Dad we need a third political party.’ He said to me, ‘I’ll settle for a second’.”

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