FREDERICTON – New Brunswick New Democratic Party Leader Dominic Cardy has announced that he is stepping down as Leader. (See attached statement). Party President Sharon Levesque confirmed today that Mr. Cardy will leave his post on January 1, 2017.
“I am one of many New Brunswickers who joined the NDP because of Dominic Cardy,” said Ms. Levesque. In the last election, our party received more votes than any NDP campaign in history and set new highs in over two dozen ridings. I believe that Dominic Cardy’s intelligence, decency, and focus on ideas had a lot today do with that.”
Under Cardy’s leadership the NDP took a record 13% of the province-wide popular vote. The party had set record highs in opinion polling in the pre-election period, even out-polling the governing Conservatives, and attracted a number of high-profile first-time NDP candidates.
Ms. Levesque thanked Mr. Cardy for his service. “While many of us are sorry that Dominic will not have more time to build the movement he started, we respect his selfless service to the party and the many unpaid years he put in growing our party.”
A Provincial Council meeting will be set in the next two weeks to appoint an interim leader, set out a date for a Leadership Convention, and adopt rules for the campaign.
FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy criticised the Gallant government’s third Throne Speech, saying it ignores critical issues facing New Brunswickers.
“No help for municipalities. No specifics when it comes to education and healthcare. Deception on jobs. Today’s Throne Speech continued the Gallant government’s tradition of repeating past promises with no acknowledgement of past failures”, Cardy said.
“Last week we learned that 80% of Grade 6 students failed mathematics, 74% failed science and nearly half could not meet the provincial reading standards. There were no mentions of this crisis in the Throne Speech. Just more platitudes.”
“Why is our province ignoring the best education models in the world – models his own Department of Education are recommending! Instead of Brian Gallant deciding our children’s curriculum let’s give principals, teachers and parents control over our schools. We need to let our kids work according to their ability, being pushed to succeed by teachers who know what makes each child excited about learning.”
“On jobs the government claims they’ve ‘created jobs’ when all they’ve done is spend tax money and given it to private companies. That’s not job creation, it’s a scam, and one that the tax payers of New Brunswick are paying for. Corporate welfare gives money to corporations, it doesn’t create real jobs for New Brunswickers,” Cardy said.
“In September the Gallant government promised a new Municipalities Act. Where is it? We need to take the power away from the Premier and his friends and give it back to communities, where it belongs.”
Mr. Cardy concluded: “The Gallant government keeps increasing taxes, has overseen the biggest cuts to education in 20 years, and seems more interested in arguing about French immersion than teaching English and French kids to read. New Brunswick deserves better.”
FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is calling on Premier Gallant to join Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and stand up for New Brunswick in carbon tax negotiations with the Federal Government.
“Two Atlantic Canadian Liberal governments walked out on meetings with the federal government over its carbon tax ultimatum. Premier Gallant was nowhere to be found,” Cardy said. “When Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told the Prime Minister that Alberta would only accept the federal carbon price on the condition that the federal government make concrete progress on pipelines, Premier Gallant stayed silent. Is Premier Gallant standing up for New Brunswick or for Mr. Trudeau?”
“Premier Gallant’s neglect for New Brunswick can only be explained in two ways,” said Cardy. “Either his government has decided to break their campaign promise of supporting Energy East or Premier Gallant can’t stand up to Ottawa. Which one is it?”
Cardy concluded: “If this Government is truly committed to moving New Brunswick forward, Premier Gallant will stand with Premier Notley’s bold call for progress on pipeline development. It’s time for Gallant to stand up and stop being a puppet for Liberals in Ottawa.”
FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy is urging the government to evaluate the needs of students and teachers before restoring grade one immersion.
“Today’s announcement, within weeks of the government releasing an education plan saying that they were going to trust teachers, shows that Premier Gallant has ignored the advice of every elected English school district and every English teachers union in the province”
“Before the removal of early immersion half of rural schools, 98 percent of students with special needs and 80 percent of the poorest students in this province didn’t receive or participate in French immersion. Since the removal of the grade one entry point, English provincial literacy rates have increased and students from rural schools and the most vulnerable families in New Brunswick have received the opportunity to enrol in French immersion. After delivering one of the biggest cuts to education in the provinces history, Premier Gallant needs to ensure that immersion isn’t just a program for elites or we will make the language divide worse, not better”
“I sincerely hope that moving the entry point for Immersion back to grade one enhances New Brunswick’s education system. I remain skeptical as we have yet to see a comprehensive plan from this government to actually move towards early immersion. I fear that this is another of one of many empty announcements from this government, rather than a plan to improve New Brunswick’s education system in the interest of students” said Cardy.
FREDERICTON – New Brunswick New Democratic Party leader Dominic Cardy called for action on early childhood education following the final report of the New Brunswick Child Care Review Task Force.
Cardy said, “The report contains good ideas and goals, but few details on how to make them real. New Brunswick lacks affordable, quality child care and every day more parents are choosing to abandon their jobs because they can’t find or afford child care and more kids are being left behind.”
The NDP has called for the creation of a high-quality, universally accessible, early childhood education program.
Cardy said, “The report recommends refusing licenses to for-profit centres. That will make it harder for parents and kids, especially in more rural parts of our province, which contradicts the call for additional support for ‘vulnerable’ centres. Let’s stop worrying as much about the governance of each centre and focus on the quality of education and support for educators, parents, and children.”
Cardy said, “Early childhood educators play a crucial role in the life of our children. We need to create a full professional association for early childhood educators with a timeline, budget, and commitment from government to expand educational opportunities for early childhood educators. The NDP strongly supports the recommendation to ‘Establish a certification process for early childhood education that includes competencies for credentials for educators and directors/operators’”.
The NDP is calling for a strengthening of the one-year program offered by community colleges and the creation of a two-year program that includes flexible distance options.
“The Gallant government cut $1.9 million dollars from owner-operated early childhood education centres in 2015. They said that money would be replaced with a new and better programme. We haven’t seen that program. This report is fine, but the parents and children of New Brunswick need action,” Cardy said.