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.”

Joint Statement by Phil Comeau and Mathieu Chayer on ANB Announcement

The following is a joint statement by paramedics Phil Comeau (NDP candidate for Saint John East) and Mathieu Chayer (NDP candidate for Caraquet) on the recently announced language requirements by Ambulance New Brunswick.

We support the move to make Ambulance New Brunswick more bilingual. New Brunswick’s status as Canada’s only bilingual province makes us unique and it needs to be reflected in how we provide service within our communities.

We take issue with the timeframe that has been imposed on the employees of Ambulance New Brunswick which we believe to be unfair and unrealistic.

The date at which ANB employees need to meet the bilingualism requirements should be pushed ahead 18 months to allow paramedics to obtain the necessary language training. To give us little over three weeks’ notice before implementation is not good for our colleagues and more importantly, not good for New Brunswickers.

We welcome the offer of language training paid for by the employer and we are certain many ANB employees will take advantage of this opportunity. But not if they are not given the opportunity to meet the new requirements before they are implemented.

Ambulance New Brunswick and the government have known since 2007 that they need to comply with increased bilingual requirements for ANB employees. Nothing has been done to prepare for this transition. It is not right that employees pay the price for years of inaction and incompetence by Liberal and Conservative governments.

This plan was made without input from CUPE local 4848. We are concerned when contract rights are not respected. We do not want to send the signal that New Brunswick does not respect the collective bargaining process.

Phil Comeau

Mathieu Chayer

Municipalities not more bureaucracy should determine local economic development

FREDERICTON – The following is a statement by NDP Leader Dominic Cardy on the Liberal economic development announcement.

“Mr. Gallant needs to get his story straight. He tells us regional economic development agencies are ‘deeply flawed’ then goes ahead and proposes creating even more. He puts out a press release saying some of the current agencies will be maintained and then tells the media, on the same day, that he will scrap all the existing agencies. Which one is the truth?”

“It seems the Liberals want to add another layer of government bureaucracy on top of the broken system we already have. Mr. Gallant, we have powerful local economic development agencies – they’re called municipalities and the new NDP would give them the power to direct economic development. We need to take centralized bureaucracy out of economic development. Brian Gallant wants to entrench it.  New Brunswick deserves better.”

Liberal strategy a “recipe for bigger and better Atcons” says Cardy

FREDERICTON – Today’s Liberal ‘job creation’ announcement shows a firm determination to repeat the failures of previous Liberal and Conservative governments, says NBNDP Leader Dominic Cardy.

“Our economy is in trouble because Liberals and Conservatives believe the only way to create jobs is through bigger government programs run by politicians. That’s a recipe for bigger and better Atcons.”

“We already have too much political interference in job creation. The solution is to let the private sector do its job, which is to create jobs and sell goods and provide services the public wants. That’s why the new NDP will reduce the number of government departments from 17 to ten.” Cardy said. “That why we’re calling for devolution to municipalities so they can have more say in economic development. The Liberals are proposing doing the same old thing in a brand new way. New Brunswick deserves better.”

Cardy questioned Mr. Gallant’s management abilities. “Mr. Gallant says he’ll personally set and enforce job creation targets. Anyone with experience running a large company or organization knows that’s a recipe for disaster and paralysis,” Cardy said. “We have to let the public service do their jobs, to use their creativity and expertise. Having an inexperienced politician overseeing your work is not the way to go.”

Cardy expressed concern at the requirement that every department have a staff member dedicated to finding ways to make money. “I do not want staff in the department of Health or Social Development to be thinking how they can make money. I want them focussed on delivering the world’s best healthcare and child protection services.”

In contrast, Cardy said the new NDP has a clear plan to get the economy moving and get New Brunswickers working. “It’s not the role of government to create jobs. It’s the role of government to create the conditions so the private sector can grow. The new NDP will introduce a New Jobs Tax Credit, a proven and non-political job creator which rewards businesses that hire new employees. We will eliminate the small business tax. These strategies work.” Cardy said.

“I have not met one business owner who said we need a new crown corporation, or who wants to have the Premier micro-managing the economy. The government’s job is to run world-class public services, not pick winners and losers in the private sector. New Brunswick deserves better than another government that’s already planning to be incompetent.”


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