2018 New Brunswick

Disclaimer

The policies outlined below are incomplete and will be updated as we approach the election. This was put together by humans and is therefore imperfect. If you spot something missing or that appears biased please let us know through the “bull” button. Thank you, and happy choosing!
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But first! Narrow it down to your important issues

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Bilingualism

  • Make second-language training available free of charge to all adult New Brunswickers (8)
  • Introduce a program that would make conversational skills in a second language a universal expectation of New Brunswick graduates (1)
  • PC Party Leader Blaine Higgs is the only party leader unable to speak French fluently but he has stated that he is taking lessons to improve (1)
  • Invest $3 million annually to develop programs to support bilingualism in cooperation with community colleges (9)
  • Increase bilingual exposure in childcare centres (15)

Childcare and Families

  • Add 3,000 new childcare spaces (8)
  • Provide free childcare for lower-income parents (8)
  • Expand childcare subsidy programs across the province by March 2019 to ensure no more than 15% of family income goes to childcare (8)
  • Pledge to introduce a Family Advocacy pilot program to provide funding for up to four family advocates in under-served regions of the province (1)
  • Make it easier for preschools to become early childhood learning centres and place them in elementary schools (15)
  • Introduce before- and after-school care from 6 AM to 6 PM in every school across the province where parental demand exists, creating an estimated 20,000 childcare spaces and 4,000 preschool spaces. The care will be available for children between the ages of 3 to 12 and will cost $10 per child (10)

Cannabis

  • Create a “best-in-class” hub of infrastructure and research clusters to attract new investment to New Brunswick in the cannabis industry (11)
  • Promise to dedicate resources from cannabis profits to the research on health, safety, and social impacts of cannabis, and take measures to reduce those effects (1)

Economy and Employment

  • Increase minimum wage to $14 over four years (8, 15)
  • Legislate pay equity for local governments, universities, nursing homes, and other public sector employers by 2020 (8, 15)
  • Freeze New Brunswick Power rates for four years (15)
  • Permanently double its investment in the Youth Employment Fund, the experiential learning program that it created in 2015 (8, 12)
  • Create a new cabinet minister responsible for small business (8)
  • Launch, in partnership with credit unions, a small-business loan program for entrepreneurs who are having difficulty accessing capital (8)
  • Reduce the provincial deficit by $125 million each year, and balance the budget by its second year (1)
  • Introduce a new jobs tax credit for all New Brunswick businesses (1)
  • Supports all efforts to reduce and eliminate trade barriers between Canadian provinces (1)
  • Provincial regulations and government contracts are made based on a “New Brunswick first” philosophy (1)
  • Pledges not to grow the government until the province is back in surplus, but promises to not fire any public servants for cost-saving reasons (1)
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15.25 over four years, and index it to average inflation and wage growth (15)
  • Legislate pay equity in the public and private sectors (15)
  • Institute a public inquiry to assess the province’s financial and ecological deficits, and create a strategy to reduce both forms of debt (9)
  • Create a new department to promote rural economic development (14)
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15 over four years (15)
  • Legislate pay equity between men and women in public and private sectors (14, 15)

Education

  • Reintroduce trades to the New Brunswick school system (8)
  • Increase spending on literacy programs by 25% (currently $7 million annually for 2017-2018) (14)
  • Introduce the Teacher Freedom Act within one year, which will give local schools increased ability to choose local materials and curriculum plans (1)
  • Reintroduce provincial testing and mandate the student test results be displayed on school and department websites (1)
  • Establish a Red Tape Reduction Commission staffed by teachers to eliminate regulations and directives that affect teachers (1)
  • Scrap the school nutrition policy (Policy 711) introduced by the former Liberal government (1)
  • Launch a program to improve early childhood literacy (1)
  • Restore the system of decentralized school districts, giving them more autonomy on resource allocations and policy implementation (9)

Environment & Parks

  • Continue to implement the climate change plan adopted in 2016. This plan includes initiatives such as the Climate Change Act; investments in energy efficiency in hospitals, schools, and homes; the development of plans to phase out coal in New Brunswick; a made-in-New Brunswick price on carbon; the establishment of the Climate Change Fund; climate change adaptation planning; and investments in new technologies, such as smart grid and renewable electricity (8)
  • Create two new provincial parks and increase protected natural and conservation areas (8)
  • Ban the use of disposable plastic shopping bags in retail stores (8)
  • Fight against the federal government’s carbon tax. If one is levied, refund the money to taxpayers in the form of tax relief (1, 15)
  • Continue to meet the 2017 Climate Change Act targets (1)
  • Introduce a management strategy for the wild turkey population (1)
  • Legislate a cap on industrial carbon pollution (9)
  • Phase out single-use plastic consumer products with exemptions for those with special needs (9)
  • Enact an Environmental Bill of Rights guaranteeing individuals: (a) the right to information about pollution threats; (b) the right to petition for investigations into environmental threats; (c) access to the justice system to prevent environmental harm; and (d) create a new environmental legislative officer (9)
  • Provide $110 million over four years to provide homes and businesses with energy efficiency improvements and means of transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources (9)
  • Require that renewable sources (wind, solar, hydro) provide 50% of New Brunswick’s electricity needs by 2025, 75% by 2035, and 100% by 2050 (9)
  • Meet the national goal of protecting 17% of Canada’s landscape by tripling the area of protected habitat from the present 4.7% (9)

First Nations

  • Will govern in accordance with the Peace and Friendship Treaties and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (9)
  • Fully implement the calls to action of the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (9)
  • Secure federal funding for indigenous language and teacher training and immersion programs for indigenous children (9)
  • Fully implement Jordan’s Principle to ensure that indigenous children receive necessary public services, regardless of jurisdictional issues (9)

Healthcare

  • Invest $100 million per year for four years on equipment purchases and upgrades to hospitals, including new intensive care, maternity ward, oncology, and gynaecology units (8)
  • Invest an additional $50 million over 10 years to modernize the infrastructure and technology of New Brunswick’s rural hospitals (8)
  • Establish five Non-Urgent Care Centres as alternatives to emergency room care to reduce wait times in Saint John Area, Greater Moncton, Capital Region, and two in northern New Brunswick (8)
  • Increase the number of training spots in medical training programs in Moncton and Saint John (8)
  • Hire 90 new doctors, 50 nurse practitioners, 40 nurses, 80 licensed practical nurses, and 80 resident attendants for nursing homes (8)
  • Will build three new 60-bed nursing homes and add 86 memory care beds across Saint John/Kings/Charlotte, the Southeast, the Fredericton-River Valley, and Greater Miramichi (8)
  • Expand the physician assistant program to reduce emergency room wait times at large hospitals (1)
  • Expand programs like Family Medicine New Brunswick (1)
  • Remove caps on Medicare billing numbers so as to increase the number of doctors who can practice in the province (1)
  • Increase the training and retention of nurses in provincial educational institutions and provide more opportunities for nurse practitioners (1)
  • Establish the Provincial Advisory Council on Women’s Health, with an initial endowment of $5 million to fund research projects on women’s health issues (1)
  • Review the Medavie contract within six months and cancel it if it is not delivering better care (1)
  • Make the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health an independent arm of the Department of Health and restore staff and resources (9)
  • Remove caps on Medicare billing numbers so as to increase the number of doctors who can practice in the province (9)
  • Establish a 20 cent/litre tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and direct the revenue to healthy school food and child wellness programs (9)
  • Phase out the release of cancer-causing pollutants by industries (9)
  • Increase proportion of the Department of Health’s budget that provides mental health and addiction services to 9% (9)
  • Cancel the Medavie contract (9)

Housing & Services

  • Empower municipalities to expropriate, renovate, or demolish rental properties if they fail to meet mandatory provincial standards (1)
  • Implement Housing First strategies in Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John (9)
  • Enable homeowners on fixed incomes (such as pensions) to de-link their property assessments from the real estate market, instead basing them on improvements made to the house or its value at sale (9)

Infrastructure & Transport

  • Dedicate 1% of all infrastructure spending on arts and culture projects (8)
  • Eliminate the front license plate of cars, and require vehicles to be registered every two years instead of every year (1, 14)
  • Evaluate taxes paid on vehicles to reflect the actual purchase price of a vehicle instead of its book value (1, 14)
  • Eliminate the surcharge on license plates for volunteer firefighters and other volunteer first responders (1)
  • Establish border tolls on four-lane highways (5, 9)
  • Subsidize existing municipal transit systems (9)
  • Direct the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure to develop public transportation systems within and between regions not served by commercial services (9)

Natural Resources & Agriculture

  • Modernize the province’s Crown Lands and Forestry Act, which governs the forestry industry, numerous agricultural sectors, biodiversity, and water protection (1)
  • Conduct a study on the health implications for humans and wildlife exposed to glyphosate (1)
  • Increase royalty rates for all renewable and non-renewable resources in the province (9)
  • Establish a New Brunswick heritage fund where all non-renewable royalties will be deposited, with the government transferring only 5% yearly to general revenues (9)
  • Immediately cancel all 25-year contracts with forestry companies signed since 2014 (9)
  • Amend the Crown Lands and Forests Act to replace forestry corporations with a publicly accountable Forest Stewardship Commission as manager of the public forest (9)
  • End the spraying of herbicides (glyphosate) on forest lands and under power lines (9)
  • Increase the proportion of the forest that is managed for conservation purposes from the current 22% to 32% (9)

Politics & Democracy

  • Will lead regular live online conversations with taxpayers to allow them to ask questions and hold government accountable (1)
  • Expand the role of the Ethics Commissioner and toughen conflict-of-interest rules (1)
  • Increase the funding of the Auditor General’s office by $250,000 per year for four years (1)
  • Reinstate the Fiscal Transparency and Accountability Act to ensure the government reports spending in a timely and accurate fashion (1)
  • Amend the Local Governance Act to give municipalities greater powers over taxation and property assessment (1)
  • Establish working hours for the legislature that are predictable and friendly to legislators with family (1)
  • Reduce voting age to 16 (15)
  • Increase the Auditor General’s budget over three years (9)
  • Legislate a 40% cap on the concentration of print media ownership (9)
  • Prohibit cross-ownership of media and non-media businesses (9)
  • Replace the current system of local service districts with local elected governments (9)

Post-Secondary Education

  • Expand the Free Tuition Program and the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class program by increasing the threshold for receiving the benefit to $70,000 from $60,000 (8)
  • Eliminate interest on all current and future provincial student loans, effective on January 1, 2019 (8)
  • Increase the number of accredited internship positions for post-graduate psychologists within the province from two to ten (1)
  • Promises that any private colleges and universities will be included in any incentive program introduced by the government (1)
  • Consider restoring tuition and education tax credits (1)
  • Reduce to cap for the Timely Completion Benefit Program to $20,000 and extend eligibility period to account for special circumstances (9)
  • Eliminate interest on student loans (9)
  • Eliminate interest on student loans (15)
  • Eliminate tuition fees at community colleges (15)
  • Reduce undergraduate tuition for all publicly funded universities by 25% (15)
  • Expand eligibility for tuition-access bursaries (15)
  • Allow graduate students to access tuition relief program and introduce new graduate student scholarships (15)
  • Create new mental health services and harassment and sexual assault prevention policies on campuses (15)

Sociocultural & Welfare

  • Expand the Women’s Equality Branch into the Department of Women’s Equality, with more staff and its own budget (8)
  • Impose pay equity on local governments and organizations in the “quasi-public” sector by 2020, and to large businesses in the private sector by 2022 (8)
  • Increase access to training, addiction treatment, and treatment for physical or mental health obstacles for those working but still below the poverty line (1)
  • Introduce a Basic Income Guarantee pilot program in three regions for three years (9)
  • Increase social assistance rates for individuals by 13% for single people and 5% for other recipients, and index rates to inflation (9)
  • Eliminate income assistance criteria and the prohibition on sharing accommodation, and reduce criteria used to determine disability (9)
  • Raise funding for community organizations and social enterprises that provide direct support to those living in poverty (9)
  • Increase the scope and budget of legal aid services to a level comparable to Nova Scotia (9)
  • Expand programs for police officers and judges to learn about the realities of sexual assault (14)

Taxes

  • Pledges to introduce no new taxes (1, 15)
  • Introduce a new children’s fitness and arts tax credit to allow families to claim fees paid to register their children in artistic, cultural, recreational, or developmental activities (1)
  • Reduce the double taxation on non-owner–occupied properties by 50% over 4 years (1, 12)
  • Remove the industrial property tax exemption for crude oil storage tanks, and add industrial machinery and equipment as taxable property (9)
  • Harmonize corporate income tax rates with Nova Scotia and PEI (9)

Technology & Innovation

  • Increase broadband internet download speed in rural New Brunswick to 100 mbps (8)
  • Invest in start-ups and university programs that prioritize research into alternative uses of fisheries’ waste and by-products (1)
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