The ATCON Story: Reviving the Dead Horse

By André Faust

The ATCON story, Whoopee shit, there isn’t anything new here so why all the fuss, ah right! the upcoming election, let’s try to revive a dead horse to win the election. Bottom line since the ATCON fiasco of 2009 there has been one change of government who as well as the former government didn’t take any action, then back to the current government. Nothing has changed the money is still gone. The only winners are the banks who were able to recoup 80%+, New Brunswick was only able to get back a miserly pittance of 4%.

The ATCON story is not new, it is a common practice of Corporations to extort money from the government by using the threat loss of jobs, or the promise of job creation or both, but in the end, they never deliver.

Like others, Atcon understood the province desperation to keep and create new Jobs. They looked at the economically depressed Miramachi and promised that if the government would provide them with the money they would create new jobs and save the existing jobs. The old “Streets are paved in gold” sales pitch. In reality what they actually mean is “Streets paved in charcoal”.

The government of the day took the chance, even though, in the past, these corporations never followed through with job creation and in some cases actually closed their operation after getting the money, but the government took the gamble and lost (again)

Had ATCON been successful, the payoff politically for the government would have been great, but like rest of the Corporate extortionist ATCON took the money and ran. The consequence was the liberal government was replaced with the conservative government, but that still didn’t change the outcome, the money is gone end of story.

In a report presented by Canada’s conservative think tank the Frazer institute the reported that Over a period of nearly 20-years, federal, provincial and local authorities together spent almost $684-billion on subsidies, mainly to private corporations — and the impact on consumers was marginal at best. When you calculate in the tax loopholes and breaks that figure is tremendously higher than stated.


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Kris Austin: The Negative Effects of Double Taxes on Small Businesses

 

By André Faust (July 06, 2017)

In a room filled to capacity at a public town hall meeting held at the New Maryland Victoria Hall, party leader Kris Austin told those in attendance that New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that double taxes small business causing some of the smaller businesses with small profit margins to close their door placing their employees out of work. Additionally, the double tax scheme discourages out of province and local small businesses from choosing New Brunswick as a place to do business.

According to Austin, there would be some loss of revenue for the province by abandoning the double taxes, but that loss would be offset by tax revenues generated by a growing economy as result of the increase in the number of small business that would be created as a result of the tax change.

In his presentation, Austin stated that the office of the Language Commission should be scrapped because the office is creating a polarisation between the Anglo and Franco communities rather than binding the two communities. Austin questions the efficiency of that office saying that recently the current Commissioner of Official Languages Katherine d’Entremont has personally made complaints about violations of the language act. The monies saved by decommissioning the office of the Commissioner of Official Languages could go towards the Office of the Auditor General which according to Party leader Kris Austin is underfunded.

Recently the Auditor General Kim MacPherson criticised the provincial government Department of Social Development’s procurement process involving a $13 million consulting contract which cost the province more than what it was expected to save.

Austin explains that the Office of the Auditor General is an independent body to serve as a watchdog over government spending and by keeping that office underfunded it limits the ability of the General Auditor from performing an in-depth analysis of government financial management.

Austin adds, the people’s Alliance while critical of the Commission of the language commission is not anti-French or anti-bilingualism but the party is against the polarisation of the two communities. He went on to say that it is important to address the needs of both linguistic communities and that the People’s Alliance is in the process of translating their website into French, the mandate of the party is to be inclusive of every New Brunswicker.


Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on accomplishments made by the Government of Canada since January 2017

The Left Eye

June 22, 2017
Ottawa, Ontario

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement today to highlight some of the accomplishments made by the Government of Canada since January 2017:

“Last year, we raised taxes on the wealthiest one per cent so we could cut taxes for the middle class. We put more money in the pockets of nine out of ten families through the Canada Child Benefit, and strengthened the Canada Pension Plan so more Canadians can achieve a strong, secure, and stable retirement. In 2017, we have built on these accomplishments, and taken further steps to create good, middle class jobs while growing the economy over the long term.

“Between February and June, I signed agreements with the leaders of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Assembly of First Nations, and the Métis National Council, establishing a process to advance shared priorities for Inuit, First Nations, and the Métis Nation.

“In February, I welcomed the European Parliament’s approval of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union. CETA is a gold-standard agreement that will give consumers more choice, make it easier and less costly for businesses to compete, and create good, middle class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

“In March, Minister Morneau tabled one of the most forward-looking budgets in Canada’s history. With its strong focus on innovation and skills, Budget 2017 prepares Canadians for the changing economy and secures Canada’s place as a hub of innovation.

“Budget 2017 makes significant investments in public transit systems, which will result in shorter commute times, less air pollution, and more efficient, better integrated transit. It also invests $11.2 billion in affordable housing to make sure all families have access to a safe and affordable place to live. Budget 2017 is the first federal budget ever to include a gender-based statement, which looks at the ways our policies and investments affect women and men differently.

“In April, we introduced a bill to legalize, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis no later than July 2018. Our legislation will, for the first time, make it a specific criminal offence to sell cannabis to a minor and create significant penalties for those who engage young Canadians in cannabis-related offences.

“In May, we unveiled tax relief measures for deployed Canadian Armed Forces personnel and police officers. We also introduced Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, and kept our promise to put a moratorium on crude oil tanker shipping on British Columbia’s north coast. At the end of the month, we announced that Canada will host the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec.

“On June 6, Minister Freeland outlined a new foreign policy for Canada, and underscored our commitment to a rules-based international order, progressive trade policies, gender equality, and fighting climate change. The next day, Minister Sajjan unveiled Canada’s new defence policy, which establishes a credible, realistic, and funded strategy for our military and, most importantly, will deliver the standard of service and care our women and men in uniform deserve.

“A few days later, Minister Bibeau launched Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy. This vision focuses Canada’s international assistance on the empowerment of women and girls, and positions Canada as a leader on gender equality in aid programming. Minister Duclos also announced the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, which will ensure more Canadian families have access to affordable, high-quality, and inclusive child care.

“This month, we announced that we will introduce legislation to make it possible to erase the convictions for Canadians who were found guilty of consensual sexual activity with a same sex partner under historical, unjust laws. Three important pieces of government legislation passed Parliament: Bill C-4, which restores a fair and balanced approach to labour relations; Bill C-6, which ends second-class citizenship and makes it easier for hardworking immigrants to become citizens; and Bill C-16, which ensures the full protection of transgender people across Canada.

“Earlier this week, Minister Goodale tabled legislation to create a new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency and introduce changes to Bill C-51, which will strengthen security and better protect Canadians’ rights.

“We have made real progress in helping the middle class and those working hard to join it. Since December 2015, Canada’s unemployment rate has dropped from 7.1 per cent to 6.6 per cent. In the last year, the Canadian economy has created over 300,000 new jobs. We still have plenty of work to do, but as we get ready to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, I am confident that Canada’s best days lie ahead.”


 

Fredericton Mayor Explains Why No Porta-Potty at Carleton Park

 

By André Faust (June 22, 2017)

Recently great concern has been raised about the removal of the porta potty from Carleton Park, a place which is frequently visited by Frederictonians and tourists. It was recognised back in 2010 that because of the high volume of human traffic in the park a porta potty was to be installed to accommodate the needs of those requiring the use of washroom facilities.

The story of the missing potty was first reported by local resident John Gamblin then followed up in a letter to the editor published in the Irving-owned newspaper The Daily Gleaner by Fredericton Blogger Charles Leblanc who heavily criticised the city of Fredericton for the removal of the portable toilet from the park, suggesting that the users of the park will now have to go behind a tree or bush to relieve themselves since immediate access to a toilet is no longer available.

Mayor Mike O’Brien in a telephone interview provided the background behind not to include a portable toilet from Carleton Park for this year.

According to O’Brien, the decision was made previous to his election as mayor as part of the arrangements made between the City of Fredericton and Picaroons. The city permitted Picaroons to extend their parking lot onto the city-owned Carleton Park, in return Picaroon would make available for the public to use their washroom facilities in the restaurant/ice cream parlour component of the brewery and bar once completed and operational.

While not currently included in the park improvements plan for Carleton Park 2017, the Mayor did suggest that it is possible in the future a fixed physical structure similar to the public washroom facilities that currently exists at officers square could be built at Carleton Park.

In an email interview with Ward 6 councillor, Eric Megarity said that the mayor did not order the removal of the porta-potty. Megarity further adds “The porta-potty was not placed in the Park this year because we have new public accessible washrooms in the Picaroons’ building. Part of the agreement signed with Picaroons.” Megarity further adds that the new washroom facility will accommodate those with mobility issues, and the washrooms will be available all year around.

Councilor Megarity stated that “City staff will be placing signage in the park to signify that there are public washrooms available in the Picaroons’ building”.

Megarity was asked has anyone from the city ask Dixie Lee about making their washrooms available to the public as well. As of now, Councillor Megarity has not responded to the question.

If Dixie Lee were to agree to grant public access washroom facilities or if they currently allow public access to their washroom then Dixie Lee should be also included in the signage indicating that public washrooms are available at their place of business.

If it is the will of the public to have a porta toilet placed at a convenient spot in the Carleton Park they should contact their respective councillors to ask for the city to do so.


Mt. Carleton court case to resume today

Mt Carlton Court Case
Photo: Google Maps

Right to information request from ACOA discredits government statements

In dealing with Aboriginal Peoples, the government must act with “honour and integrity, avoiding even the appearance of sharp dealing,” says the Supreme Court of Canada.

But, that is not how the New Brunswick government is acting, says Grand Chief Ron Tremblay, one of the applicants seeking a judicial review of a decision made by the New Brunswick government to develop a snowmobile grooming hub at Mount Carleton Provincial Park.

When first announced, the project consisted of groomers, a designated trail up the side of Mount Carleton, and two new snowmobile bridges.

“The two new snowmobile bridges are the most essential elements of this project as they tie everything else together,” says Jean Louis Deveau, the other applicant in the judicial review.

The project was registered for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in September 2016. At the time government argued the bridges weren’t being considered part of the project.

Yet information recently obtained from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency through the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act indicates that the proposal submitted by the applicants for funding from to ACOA included a request for money to build the two bridges at the centre of this controversy. And in the contract made between the applicants and ACOA, bridge funding is included.

“We’re being told one thing, only to find out through Right to Information that the opposite is true. The government is clearly not acting with honour and integrity,” says Grand Chief Tremblay.

The court is scheduled to continue hearing this matter on June 13th in Woodstock. A crowdfunding campaign (https://www.gofundme.com/27ru624) was started in June 2016 to help pay legal fees.

The Parks Act (2014) stipulates a management plan based on a zoning system must be completed prior to any development in Provincial Parks. Mt. Carleton has been zoned but doesn’t have a management plan.