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NDP Calls for Chronic Disease Designation for Arthritis

FREDERICTON – The New Brunswick NDP is calling for Arthritis to be officially designated as a chronic disease. NDP Fredericton North candidate Brian Duplessis says this is long overdue given the sheer number of people affected by Arthritis in New Brunswick.

“There are more than 125,000 New Brunswickers who have been diagnosed with a form of Arthritis,” Duplessis said. “By giving it chronic disease designation, it will lead to better awareness and training for family physicians which will ultimately lead to earlier diagnosis and better treatment.”

Currently, New Brunswick only recognizes two chronic diseases – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes. Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland have already designated Arthritis as a chronic disease. Nova Scotia will officially designate Arthritis as a chronic disease in the coming weeks.

Duplessis believes this is not just a healthcare issue but is also an economic issue for New Brunswick. Arthritis costs the province almost $750 million each year. This includes $297 million in direct healthcare costs and another $445 million in lost labour productivity and disability costs.

“We need to take action now to do what we can help those with this disease and reduce costs to our healthcare system,” Duplessis said.

Happy Acadian Day

On this 2014 National Acadian Day, I would like to wish all Acadians from across New Brunswick and around the world, a day filled with activities, pride and emotions.

Since I have been the leader of the New Brunswick NDP, I have become better acquainted with the Acadian culture. I now have a better understanding of the challenges you are facing. I know as well that despite your heavy past and despite your present challenges, you have a collective strength that goes beyond New Brunswick borders; an artistic, cultural and institutional strength that we are all proud of.

Today is a day of celebrations, a day that will vibrate to the rhythm of Acadie. I wish you all happy festivities.

I will be attending the flag-raising ceremony and will be having breakfast at the Acadian Village in Bertrand with our Caraquet NDP candidate, Mathieu Chayer, followed by official ceremonies in Tracadie-Sheila. Later in the evening I will be attending the flag-raising ceremony in the Capital in front of City Hall with the Acadian community in my home town of Fredericton.

I take this opportunity to invite my fellow Anglophone citizens to join the Acadians in celebrating the National Acadian Day on this Friday, August 15, 2014.

Happy Acadian Day!

Dominic Cardy

Leader of the New Brunswick NDP

 

Commentary – Is the NDP on the rise?

The following is a commentary published in the Daily Gleaner on August 14, 2014

DAVID WIEZEL COMMENTARY

Recently, several New Brunswick media outlets have reported on the new business-like NDP. A Daily Gleaner editorial lauded NDP Leader Dominic Cardy’s “common sense approach” while other media noted his clear and practical stands on issues of concern to New Brunswickers.

Could something be happening here?

In the Fredericton area, the NDP unveiled a talented candidate group, including Cardy (Fredericton West-Hanwell), who should garner support for his principled-yet-practical, intelligent approach; Brian Duplessis, former United Way executive director, in Fredericton North; and former provincial cabinet minister Kelly Lamrock in Fredericton South.

Add the solid experience of New Maryland-Sunbury candidate Aimee Foreman (business manager and owner with solid credentials at non-profit groups); Sharon Scott-Levesque in Fredericton York (nurse and former small business owner); and Amanda Diggins in Oromocto Lincoln (early childhood educator at the Gagetown Military Family Resource Centre), and even without ridings yet to choose a candidate, the NDP match up quality-wise with the offerings of the local Progressive Conservatives and Liberals.

So, can the NDP win here? Dominic Cardy is widely respected and his presence in the legislature would benefit many New Brunswickers. Voters in Fredericton West-Hanwell could do the province a big favour by adding Cardy’s sensible voice to the legislature.

His candidates benefit by the Tories’ low standings in the polls (lower than Richard Hatfield’s percentage in the Liberal sweep of 1987), the anger of retired civil servants towards the PCs for breaking their earned pension deal and the Liberals for refusing clear and outright support to pensioners and the perception that the old parties are not capable of solving our problems.

In my riding of New Maryland-Sunbury, the Liberals and Tories picked candidates with an “on-paper” upside and practical downside. Retired General Michael Pearson, Liberal candidate, may have skills to command, but politics requires compromise and patience – which may not be common “general” traits.

PC backroom guy and candidate Jeff Carr is brother No. 3 in the political powerhouse Carr family, but Jeff played a significant role in the information leak scandal that plagued his boss and MLA brother, Jody last year.

NDP candidate Foreman’s background with non-profit groups like the Fredericton Community Kitchen, and management roles and ownership of her own business show a diverse wealth of business and community experience that enables her, I believe, to better see the big picture than the narrow – yet deep – experience of her two main competitors. Will it be enough to overcome the big political machines?

Well, remember 1991 provincial election when the Confederation of Regions Party ran well under the radar yet won six seats in central New Brunswick? I’m not saying the NDP is similar in policy to COR. However, people in the Fredericton region have a history of quietly replacing government MLAs when they are unhappy – and it certainly seems they are unhappy with many of our local PC MLAs.

Add to this the 2011 federal election results in the Province of Quebec when the NDP won 58 seats. Previously they held one. Who saw that coming? Could it happen here?

I side with the wisdom shown recently by The Daily Gleaner editorial writer – I’m not going to bet the farm on the NDP but hope some of their candidates win.

Really, we can’t do any worse than the Tories who seem to take strategy advice from Inspector Clouseau, and an indecisive Liberal Opposition where policy seems to begin with “on the one hand.”

Mr. Cardy, you’ve got my vote. 75,000 more and we’ve got a horse race.

David Wiezel 
is a former New Maryland mayor and has been involved in elections since the 1960s. He is about to cast his first vote for the NDP in New Brunswick.

NDP Would Offer Fair Deal for Drivers

FREDERICTON – The New Brunswick NDP is calling for changes to regulations surrounding motor vehicles and insurance to give New Brunswick motorists a fair deal. NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is calling for three key reforms that would be introduced by an NDP government. They are:

  • Extending the period between mandatory motor vehicle inspections from one to two years.
  • Banning the use of credit scores as a way of deciding individual insurance rates for auto and home coverage.
  • Allowing for multiple vehicles to be registered at the same time, helping businesses that operate fleets.

“We have a responsibility to protect New Brunswick consumers from unfair and punitive practices and I believe these changes would be a huge step in that direction,” Cardy said. “New Brunswick deserves a better deal for drivers and that is what the new NDP would deliver.”

Currently only New Brunswick and PEI require annual motor vehicle inspections.

“I believe moving to the two-year interval will provide welcome financial relief at a time when many New Brunswickers greatly need it,” Cardy said.

Cardy also condemns the practice of using credit scores as factors in determining auto and home insurance rates.

“There are legitimate criteria that should be used when determining insurance rates – accident history, age, and previous claims are all acceptable. But using credit scores systemically discriminates against lower-income drivers and unfairly punishes people who may have gone through a bad period due to a divorce or job layoff,” Cardy said.

NDP Would Submit Forestry Deal for Judicial Review

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy committed an NDP government to immediately launch a court review of the Alward Government’s forestry strategy.

“The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision on aboriginal title and Crown lands underscores how reckless the government has been with this last-minute forestry strategy,” Cardy said. “An NDP government will direct our Attorney-General to put the matter before the courts to gain clarity on government’s obligations to amend the Crown Lands and Forests Act.”

A reference for the Attorney-General can resolve the matter faster than a citizens’ court challenge, and is used when government believes it may be violating the law and wants to comply. Cardy emphasized the NDP strategy would be better for the environment and the economy than other approaches.

“The Conservative approach to ignoring the law creates uncertainty for investors, because any decision could be struck down by the courts. The Liberals will condemn the process, but offer uncertainty on what they would do instead. Tearing up contracts scares off the investors we want and hurts the economy. So rather than trying to get around the law, let’s use the law, let’s have certainty and sit down with First Nations, science experts and business and do this right,” he said.

“We don’t need to start tearing up contracts to challenge a reckless deal,” Cardy said. “If you want certainty this will be dealt with in a balanced, reasonable way, only the NDP offers that guarantee.”