Former Liberal MLA Abel LeBlanc accepted the nomination for the New Brunswick NDP in Saint John Lancaster Monday night at the Assumption Centre in Saint John. Speaking to party supporters, LeBlanc said he is eager to once again fight for Saint John Lancaster in Fredericton.
“The whole reason I got involved in politics was to fight for the people in my community who needed help,” LeBlanc said. “I’ve been doing it all my life and hopefully I’ll be able to fight for them in Fredericton once again.”
NDP Fredericton South candidate Kelly Lamrock served as keynote speaker for the nomination meeting. Lamrock said he is excited about running alongside LeBlanc in the lead up to the September 22nd election.
“As someone who has served his community as an MLA, Abel brings a wealth of experience to the table,” Lamrock said. “His track record of tireless work on behalf of his constituents is something I admire. He continued that work even when he wasn’t sitting as an MLA.”
LeBlanc said he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of local support since the announcement he is joining the NDP.
“I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and said they are supporting me and will be voting NDP this fall,” LeBlanc said. “It speaks not only to me but also to the positive message of meaningful change that Dominic Cardy represents. People want a strong leader, and a real plan to create jobs and a plan to reduce our debt and deficit. Dominic is the only leader offering that.”
The following is a statement by NDP Memramcook-Tantramar candidate Hélène Boudreau:
The recent report that the Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum is woefully underfunded and unable to achieve real results is more than disheartening. It is quite frankly appalling. It’s appalling because it is yet another example where the current government wants to set the women’s movement backwards. It is as if David Alward and his Conservatives won’t be happy until the women’s movement is set back two or three decades.
Other provinces, like Quebec, have not only brought in pay equity legislation but they also appointed a pay equity commissioner to ensure employers are meeting their obligations. Not in New Brunswick. Despite numerous calls to introduce pay equity legislation here, neither the Liberals nor PC’s have lifted a finger to make that happen.
For more than 25 years, women across Canada have had the right of choice when it came to reproductive decision-making. Not in New Brunswick. Women here have no voice. No voice to make their own decisions. As a Registered Nurse, I can’t think of one medical procedure decision that I can’t make on my own once I’ve received all my options, not one with the exception of abortion. In this case, it’s up to 2 physicians that make that choice for me. When a healthcare and social development professional provide a service, we don’t judge that person on why they chose to undergo certain procedures or make certain life choices. We just give the best care and information to them and hope they choose to make the right decisions for themselves. It should be the same for when a woman makes the decision to have an abortion. A universal access to abortion services is the only way in ensuring women have a safe choice as part in their decision making process. It is not a question of right or wrong, it is a question of a woman’s right by law.
This is why the recent news is so deeply disturbing to the point of sickening. Here more than anywhere else, we need a strong, vibrant body which can speak on behalf of New Brunswick’s women. Part of the reason why I’m running for the NDP this fall is because our party is committed to addressing these issues. As a mother and grandmother, I truly believe I need to ensure that my now adult daughters know that NB gives equal value to the women of this province. It is just very sad that in 2014, I even have to.
Sharon Scott Levesque, a registered nurse and Durham Bridge resident will represent the electoral district of Fredericton York for the NDP in the upcoming provincial election. Scott-Levesque has worked as an RN for 39 years, most recently dedicating herself to geriatric care, working the front for those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
“My mother struggled with Alzheimer’s for four years so I understand first-hand the challenges of caring for people with these diseases. I am a strong advocate for the needs of our seniors to be able to stay in their own homes and of the importance of caregivers to help families care for their loved ones,” Scott-Levesque said.
NDP Leader Dominic Cardy believes Scott-Levesque’s professional experience and her deep roots in the community will make her s strong MLA for the constituents of Fredericton York.
“Who better than Sharon can speak to what we’ve been saying needs to be done to improve primary care for all New Brunswickers?” Cardy said. “We need to empower all our primary care providers and Sharon will be a strong advocate for this.”
As a person who operated and owned a business in the wellness sector for 13 years, Scott Levesque firmly believes the NDP’s plan to cut small business taxes and implement new job tax credits will help to jump start New Brunswick’s economy and create a new prosperity for this province by allowing entrepreneurs the ability to compete on a fair playing field.
“I’m running because I believe Dominic Cardy is the only leader with a real plan to create jobs and turn around the economy so we can keep our young workers here at home,” she said.
Sharon is actively involved in her community, having worked closely with the Sparks program promoting healthy lifestyles for children. She has also served as Chairperson of the Women’s Tour Curling event, she’s raised funds for the Pediatric Unit, the Special Olympics, and she’s taken up the fight against Breast Cancer.
She’s been married to John Levesque for 26 years and is the mother of four adult children and grandmother to five.
Park Superintendent Jamie O’Rourke accepted the nomination for the New Brunswick NDP in Campbellton-Dalhousie Saturday. O’Rourke, a long-time volunteer for social and environmental causes, believes that protecting natural resources will be one the biggest issues in his riding in the upcoming election.
“New Brunswick needs a strong government to ensure science dictates what we do regarding natural resource,” O’Rourke said. “For too long, it’s been driven by the government’s need for job creation announcements. Dominic Cardy will stand up for protecting our natural resources and I will stand beside him.”
O’Rourke has an education in farming and economics from NBCC Woodstock and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. He has applied his training and experience to various industries including pest-control, farming, and the natural resources sector.
NDP Leader Dominic Cardy said O’Rourke has the background and experience to represent the people of Campbellton-Dalhousie.
“Jamie has a wealth of experience not only in the natural resources sector but also in agriculture and small business development. He has the tools to be an effective voice for his constituents at home and in the Legislature.”
Amongst the other issues O’Rourke plans to raise during the campaign are creating opportunity for small business, adult and youth literacy, an affordable energy plan, and better health care for seniors and those battling mental health issues.
The New Brunswick NDP is calling for a comprehensive summit on climate change in which various stakeholders will look at emergency preparedness planning for the future. NDP Chief of Staff and Fredericton North candidate Brian Duplessis believes the calls to review NB Power’s performance during Arthur are misguided as they only take into account one small portion of the much larger picture.
“Looking at what happened with Arthur goes beyond simply reviewing NB Power. We need to gather all the players involved and explore ways we can be better prepared in all areas. We’ve had Arthur and the ice storm in the last seven months as well as regular flooding. There will be more of these extreme weather events in the future,” Duplessis said.
The NDP plan would be to call together all the relevant stakeholders to look at what steps need to be taken to be better prepared for another major weather event. These stakeholders would include:
- Provincial and municipal governments
- NB Power & municipal utilities
- Emergency Measures Organization
- Red Cross and other community emergency services providers
- Telecommunications companies
- Insurance industry
Duplessis said the recent storm showed that in a wide-spread power outage, all community organizations have important roles.
“The day of the storm and the day after, the public radio broadcaster had only sparse updates and instruction for those without power and water. Some of the telecommunications companies weren’t able to provide services the way they would have liked. This is why we need everyone at the table to discuss how this can be better handled the next time it happens,” Duplessis said.
NDP Leader Dominic Cardy said the timing of the summit is crucial if it is going to be effective.
“Any meaningful discussion needs to take place after the fall election otherwise it will simply devolve into a pre-election circus. An NDP government would call everyone together only after the dust has settled and we can focus on constructive solutions,” Cardy said. “What got lost with all the power outages was the fact that many people didn’t have drinking water for up to a week. We need to be better prepared so this doesn’t happen again.”
The summit would explore what needs to be done to get the province to a 24/7 emergency readiness status. It would also look at taking preventative steps to ensure the power outages are not week-long events.