News article: NDP seeks conflict of interest probe into MLA loan

FREDERICTON – New Democrat Leader Dominic Cardy says Tory MLA Greg Davis has violated the province’s conflict of interest act by failing to report a loan he received from his own party to the New Brunswick conflict commissioner.

Cardy said he will request in writing Thursday that the conflict commissioner’s office conduct an investigation into the alleged breach.

The NDP leader said that he will also call on the commissioner to launch a detailed examination into the expenses of all MLAs in each of the last two governments, citing broader failures and a lack of oversight of the expense reporting system.

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News article: Provincial NDP pledges to give more power to cities


SAINT JOHN – A New Democratic government would give more power to municipalities and only involve the province in pursuits that would be in the public interest, Dominic Cardy told Saint John’s business leaders on Thursday.

Speaking to about 50 people at a Board of Trade luncheon, the provincial NDP leader promised to cut seven government departments, including the Department of Economic Development, as part of a plan to save $213 million. The responsibility of developing economic development strategies would fall to municipalities.

“I believe that Mayor (Mel) Norton and Saint John’s Common Council are best placed to make those decisions for the Port City, much better placed than the rather poorly named minister of local government sitting in his office in Fredericton.”

To avoid the political temptation of creating new departments when a party needs a boost in the polls, the NDP would propose a law requiring unanimous approval from the legislature to add a new ministry.

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News article: Post-secondary institutes grappling with literacy levels amid “no-fail” debate


FREDERICTON – The province is at a “crossroads” in determining who provides the literacy skills needed to ready New Brunswickers for post-secondary learning and beyond, says the president of New Brunswick Community College.

Amid debate over an automatic promotion rule that sees students passing grades regardless of whether they pass their courses, Marilyn Luscombe says community college officials are part of a review of the high school curriculum.

The community college president says there continues to be a substantial need for academic upgrading of basic literacy skills for students who have left the secondary school system.

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Editorial: No fail gets an F

If you are wondering if New Brunswick’s schools really have a no-fail policy, all you have to do is walk down Prospect Street in Fredericton, stick your head into any retail establishment and watch the kids at the cash registers try to make change.

We’re exaggerating, of course, but we believe it’s time to review the balance in our schools between children’s social well-being and their academic skills.

We say if the pendulum has swung too far towards social well-being and advancing with peer groups at the expense of learning how to read, write, add and subtract, then we have a serious problem.

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News article: ‘No-fail’ debate generates more heat


FREDERICTON – A call by New Democrat Leader Dominic Cardy to get rid of a “no-failure” policy that allows New Brunswick students to graduate regardless of whether they pass their courses spiralled on Wednesday into a highly-charged public debate with a Tory minister.

Both Cardy and Post-Secondary Education Minister Jody Carr sparred on social media throughout the day over their respective party stances.

Carr then declined requests to speak to the media, while Cardy reaffirmed that the current system is detrimental to educating students.

“It shows that we really hit a nerve with this,” Cardy said. “I’ve had dozens and dozens of emails and tweets and phone calls from principals and teachers, people in the system, and some students as well saying they are really happy that a political party is finally talking about this because it’s really been damaging the quality of education in New Brunswick.”

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