For Immediate Release
February 2nd, 2017
NB NDP Calls For More Timely Federal Assistance In Ice Storm Disaster
New Brunswick NDP Interim Leader Rosaire L’Italien praised his federal NDP MP Guy Caron who has demanded answers on the slow response from the federal government to the request for assistance to New Brunswick in the wake of the ice storm.
“It’s clear that the response has not gone as smoothly as the public expected – we’re hearing from too many people on the ground that are still without power as this disaster drags on,” said Mr. L’Italien. “We have to get better at responding to these types of emergencies.”
Mr. L’Italien praised New Brunswickers for coming together in this time of crisis. As a resident who lost his power himself, Mr. L’Italien has been heartened by the many acts of neighbours helping neighbours in these trying times. “New Brunswickers are resilient people, and it shows when we see communities come together and help each other out.”
Mr L’Italien echoed Mr Caron’s call for more federal assistance, “the federal response has been slow and when communities don’t feel they are being supported by Ottawa, it can make a bad situation worse.”
Mr L’Italien praised the efforts on the ground working hard to restore power for the remaining 5000 customers still without power more than six days later. “The NDP is very appreciative of the work of the volunteers and staff who have been working around the clock to get power restored and our communities back in shape.”
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Rosaire L’Italien, Interim Leader of the NB NDP
FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s New Democrats have a new leader. High-profile journalist and former union leader Rosaire L’Italien was unanimously selected by the Party’s executive at a meeting Sunday to lead the NDP until a permanent leader is chosen at convention.
“Rosaire’s experience, his passion for the job, his proven ability to articulate a progressive message – these things were all factors in the broad support he had to take on the job,” said Charles Doucet, the Party’s past president. “We are fortunate to see someone of his caliber stepping forward, and it shows the optimism that exists for our party’s future.”
Mr. L’Italien followed a distinguished journalistic career by joining the NDP after his retirement from Radio-Canada and running in the federal riding of Madawaska-Restigouche in the 2015 election, coming second and beating the incumbent Conservative cabinet minister. He immediately expressed his enthusiasm to start working to ensure the party’s message is heard.
“The NDP is the only truly inclusive party in New Brunswick,” said Mr. L’Italien. “The Liberals have excluded people on a partisan basis, running a highly political government that puts their party first. And the Conservatives have chosen to exclude people linguistically and speak to only half the province in their leadership campaign. The NDP has a vision to include everyone, together, and I will be working hard to take that message all around New Brunswick.”
Mr. L’Italien identified a few issues where he will be challenging the Gallant government, including their failure to develop a poverty reduction plan and the recent health deal with the federal government, which he said was “placing Mr. Gallant’s political debts to Dominic Leblanc ahead of the health care New Brunswickers rely upon.” And he pledged to rally the party around its core principles.
“For years the NDP has had a vision where every family has a road to the middle class, with good jobs, fair wages and a social safety net that protects every citizen so they can take risks and build their dreams. I am not asking NDP members to work for me personally. I am asking them to work beside me for this beautiful vision we all share. These principles will bring us back together.”.
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.”