It's time for a new way forward for Fundy Royal
Like many families and community members in Albert County, I came face to face with politics for the first time while fighting school closures when my children were young. I became more and more passionate about building strong local communities and eventually better society. The importance of having ethical government that considers people’s and community’s strengths to build prosperity and bring well-being to the people became a life long passion for me.
Raised in New Brunswick and having to leave in my twenties to find work as an engineer, I know first hand that one of the biggest challenges that faces us is that our youth leave to find employment. How can we build healthy community and a strong local economy when our young are missing in action?
Through strong governance and by working side by side with our public administration, we took a school board of the size of New Brunswick's from having a poor reputation with declining enrolment to being a growth board with a world renown reputation for excellence. With a well run bureaucracy and a clear focus on public service, we maintained a very healthy bottom line.
I have watched with increasing alarm as our present federal government has unraveled the strong democratic society that took us all so many decades to build. Instead of working with our communities and our public servants to build strong social networks and provide supports for a healthy economy, they have balanced the budget through harmful cuts, wasteful spending, and demoralized public servants. They have raided our reserves and cut into our EI fund to balance their books just to look good for the election. With their single-minded focus on resource extraction, they have driven our youth out west while sorely neglecting the economic potential that exists right here.
How can we build economic prosperity without young people and strong communities? How can we capitalize on our abundant natural resources if we take away their environmental protections? New Brunswick’s economic and demographic numbers say it all. We now have the proud reputation of being the province in fastest population decline in the country with one of the highest rates of unemployment.
We need a government that believes in the people who live here, where our natural resources are given added value through manufacturing where they are found, where we invest in green and sustainable industries like those in abundance here - tidal power, wind power, forestry, fishing, agriculture. We need a government that believes in our public service and provides leadership while allowing them to work productively without harmful political interference. We need investment in small businesses and local economies for sustainable growth where the wealth is shared more equitably amongst everyone.
Last minute announcements such as the ones that have been rolling out for Fundy Royal - as part of a $14-billion nation wide spending spree during the six weeks leading up to the election - are all very well and good but where were they nine years ago? Why haven't they been built on, sustained and supported over the years? Pork barrelling and patronage have gotten us to where we are now under successive Conservative and Liberal governments. Isn’t it time for a third approach?
An NDP government would provide the incentives needed for a diversified economy. Our quality childcare program would bring not just peace of mind to parents but secure jobs to all our towns and villages.
It is no coincidence that the NDP arose from farmers concerns about agricultural issues. It is no coincidence that the NDP was founded by a Baptist Minister on good strong moral principles. It’s no coincidence that the NDP has the most solid reputation for fiscal management of all three main parties. These values of supporting communities, caring for people, and strong fiscal management have shaped our party. Isn’t it time for them to shape Canada?
NDP Candidate for Fundy Royal