Progress on priorities and opportunities for New Brunswick

Brian Gallant21 September 2015

FREDERICTON – Premier Brian Gallant outlined the progress that the provincial government has made on its commitments in the first year of its mandate.

“From day one, we have been clear that we are focused on creating jobs,” Gallant said. “Helping create jobs will improve our fiscal situation and make life better for New Brunswick families.”

Gallant said that to date 90 per cent of all commitments are underway or complete.

They include measures to support job creation, such as:

  • implementing a comprehensive literacy strategy that involves the public education system, employers, and community agencies;
  • lowering the small business corporate income tax rate to 2.5 per cent;
  • increasing the Small Business Investor Tax Credit to 50 per cent from 30 per cent;
  • empowering private sector experts to identify where New Brunswick has the best opportunities for economic growth and success;
  • appointing experts to develop a 10-year plan for all stages of education;
  • making post-secondary education more affordable by eliminating parental and spousal contributions;
  • creating the Youth Employment Fund to provide unemployed youth with training and work experience here in New Brunswick that has created more than 900 jobs to date;
  • investing strategically in infrastructure projects like the Port of Saint John, the Centre Naval in Bas-Caraquet, the Amphitheatre in Edmundston and the Moncton Metro Centre, which will together create 3,000 jobs;
  • creating the Strategic Infrastructure Initiative, creating 935 jobs;
  • making strategic infrastructure investments in schools, hospitals and roads which will create over 900 jobs in the province;
  • supporting the Sisson mine, which would create 800 jobs;
  • supporting projects like the Energy East Pipeline which would create 6,300 jobs at the peak of construction and the potential LNG terminal conversion to an export facility which would create 3,000 jobs; and
  • launching Opportunities NB, which has supported the creation of 2,300 jobs in six months.

Commitments underway or complete that support making New Brunswick the best place to raise a family include:

  • raising the minimum wage;
  • expanding the Smoke-free Places Act to ban smoking in public places frequented by children;
  • establishing a provincial daycare-spaces registry;
  • making record investments in education;
  • creating a front-line medical advisory committee;
  • supporting treatment of youth with complex mental health needs;
  • creating a tax credit to allow seniors or their families to renovate their homes to stay independent longer;
  • publishing nursing home and special care home inspection reports; and
  • ensuring women’s perspectives are included in the policy-making and governance processes by appointing more women to agencies, boards and commissions;

Gallant also outlined progress on fiscal responsibility and accountability measures, including:

  • reducing the salaries of cabinet ministers and the premier;
  • swearing in the smallest cabinet in nearly 50 years;
  • increasing taxes on the richest one per cent;
  • cancelling the property tax break for big businesses;
  • eliminating duplication by centralizing common functions across all departments of government;
  • ensuring CEO’s of Crown corporations are hired based on merit and competence;
  • undertaking a strategic review of all government spending; and
  • publishing expense reports of MLAs online.

“Our efforts of the past year demonstrate our commitment to New Brunswickers, to grow the economy and better the lives of New Brunswickers,” Gallant said. “We will continue to report to New Brunswickers on the actions we take to execute our plan to create jobs and support our families.”

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