Free daycare for low-income families

SAINT JOHN (GNB) – The provincial government has announced that families with an annual gross income under $37,500 will have access to free child care.

“Ensuring that all New Brunswick families are moving forward together is a priority for your government,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Access to free child care for lower-income families will ensure parents are given every opportunity to enter the workforce or pursue their studies, while having the peace of mind that their children are being cared for in high-quality Early Learning Centres across the province.”

The free daycare program is for parents who are either working or attending school, with children aged five and under attending a designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centre.

“Investing in early childhood education is a key component of your government’s multi-year economic growth plan,” said Gallant. “Free child care for families that need the most support will help these families with the cost of child care, will help the children with their education, and will provide a boost to New Brunswick’s workforce so our economy can continue to grow.”

The program is available to eligible families regardless of the centre’s location or the fee charged by its operator. The first designated anglophone and francophone centres will be located in Saint John and the Greater Edmundston area beginning in March. They will be implemented provincewide by March 1, 2019.

“Your government is focused on a holistic approach to supporting New Brunswick families,” said Gallant. “Before this investment, if a single mother of a young child wished to further her studies at university, she would just not be able to afford both tuition and child care. Now, your government has offered her the opportunity to access both free tuition and free child care while she studies. Cases like these will result in healthier families and a stronger workforce here in New Brunswick.”‎

Parents will be notified by their daycares once they are designated and can begin the process.

“This announcement has the ability to dramatically reduce generational poverty in New Brunswick,” said Donna Gates, executive director of Living SJ. “Giving parents options to help break the cycle of poverty is key, and the opportunity to access free child care will make a big difference to many families.”

“Today’s announcement will not only change the lives of many New Brunswick families, but will also support economic growth in our province by allowing parents to return to the workforce or enroll in post-secondary education to increase their employment potential,” said Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce chair Claire Ryan. “Having more people working, and strengthening the workforce will help our province reach its economic potential.”

This daycare program is another way the government is helping working parents and parents attending university or college with child care costs.

Existing programs to help students continue their education include the Free Tuition Program and Tuition Relief for the Middle Class. These offer non-repayable provincial bursaries to make post-secondary education more accessible.

“It is encouraging that increasing access to post-secondary education is a key concern for the provincial government,” said University of New Brunswick president Eddy Campbell. “Any program that will help remove barriers to education and help families is crucial. We know that a well-educated population is the best way to set up our province and our students for economic success.”

Today’s announcement is part of a larger framework of child care investments and early learning initiatives related to:

Quality

  • Daycares in New Brunswick will be able to apply for a One-Time Quality Improvement Grant to increase the quality of both indoor and outdoor learning environments, including equipment and materials, for children aged five and under. The one-time grants will total $4.7 million over the next two years.
  • $7.5 million in annual Quality Grants will be provided to help the facilities deliver high-quality child care services and meet the criteria of becoming a designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centre. The funding equates to a daily funding enhancement of $2.50 per space per day for children aged two to five years old. All early learning centre operators will be required to develop a plan for continuous quality improvement.
  • New Brunswick Early Learning Centres will offer services to preschool children aged five and under through a voluntary application process. Daycares are not required to be part of this program. Those that choose to do so will work in collaboration with the government with the aim of offering equitable and affordable access to high-quality early learning and child care services by removing barriers linked to family income, children’s abilities and needs, language and minority settings.
  • The government is investing $28 million, in addition to the multi-year bilateral funding, to support wage increases for early childhood educators. The funding will be rolled out over four years beginning in 2019-20 and raise wages from $16 an hour to $19 an hour for trained early childhood educators by 2022-23.

Accessibility

  • A new child care registry will serve as a one-stop shop for families to register their children for available child care spaces and have access to apply for subsidies online. Families will also be able to determine immediately whether spaces are available in a facility or if there is a wait list.
  • An Infant Operator Grant will be available to offset operational costs of infant care. It will provide $10 per occupied infant space per day.
  • Transforming as many child care facilities as possible, with an aim of designating more than 300 as New Brunswick Early Learning Centres by 2020 to offer more affordable, accessible, inclusive and high-quality early learning and child care services.
  • Early Learning Centres will also receive support to help increase the number of infant spaces across the province by 200 by the year 2020.
  • Since October 2014 the provincial government has created nearly 3,000 new spaces and plans to expand the total number of spaces in New Brunswick to 30,000 by 2020.

Affordability

  • In addition to today’s announcement, the government is committed to investing in access to affordability for even more New Brunswickers.
  • Additional financial support measures for preschool-aged children five and under will be unveiled in the near future.

Today’s announcement is part of a federal-provincial, three-year early learning and child care agreement that commits $71 million in investments to improve early learning and child care for preschool-aged children in the province. More details on the government’s plan to invest and transform the child care and early learning system are available in its Early Learning and Child Care Action Plan, Everyone at their best… from the start: Early Learning and Child Care Action Plan.


 

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Premier’s Progress Report Unveiled

Brian Gallant
Premier Brian Gallant

FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant today highlighted the progress the provincial government has made on the priorities of New Brunswickers.

“Over the last year, as your government, we have continued to invest in our multi-year economic growth plan,” said Gallant. “Instead of an austerity agenda, we are investing to create opportunities so our youth can work here in New Brunswick and so people who have left our province can come back and work here.”

Over the last three years, New Brunswick experienced the best economic growth in a decade. The province hit a 10-year high in 2015 and the trend continued into 2016 when real GDP growth reached 1.24 per cent.

Other economic indicators include:

Since 2014, the government has cut the province’s deficit by 67 per cent, and plans to eliminate the deficit by the 2020 budget.

Private capital expenditures have rebounded, exceeding 2013 levels in 2014 and 2016. In 2015, they reached almost $2 billion, a level not seen since 2011.

Average weekly earnings were up by 2.3 per cent in 2016 – compared to 2.8 per cent growth in 2015 – and above the national result of 0.4 per cent. Tied with Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick had the highest growth in average weekly earnings countrywide in 2016.

The unemployment rate has been in the single digits for all of 2017.

Some of the measures the provincial government has taken to support job creation include:

Reduced the small business income tax rate to three per cent and introduced legislation to lower it even more.

Increased the minimum wage three times since December 2014 to put more money in New Brunswicker’s pockets.

Increased taxes for the richest one per cent so the government can invest in the economy, health care and education.

Invested more money in infrastructure to create jobs and improve roads and schools.

Increased investment in the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, as well as in infrastructure, reflecting the government’s commitment to developing tourism in New Brunswick.

Implementing and maintaining pay equity as part of an ongoing government commitment to achieving equality for women in the province, giving a better quality of life to women, children and families.

Developed a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy with industry leaders, academia and government to help establish New Brunswick as an epicentre of cybersecurity and create high-value jobs.

Supported the Sisson Mine Project as it will create jobs and generate business opportunities for the province.

“Your government’s multi-year economic growth plan includes major investments in education and post-secondary education,” said Gallant. “These investments help develop a strong workforce, which, in turn, helps strengthen our economy.”

The government is investing more in education than ever before, including:

Creating 10-year education plans so that young people have the strongest education system possible.

Investing more than $292 million to upgrade current schools and build new ones since October 2014.

Entering into a $71 million three-year bilateral early learning and childcare agreement with the federal government.

Created the Free Tuition Program and the Tuition Relief for the Middle Class program, to provide upfront assistance to New Brunswick students and make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable.

Developed the Youth Employment Fund to give youth more opportunity to stay in New Brunswick and the chance to get hands-on work experience.

Launched Unleashing the power of literacy: New Brunswick’s Comprehensive Literacy Strategyto improve literacy rates in the province.

Teaching trades in schools to better prepare young people for future opportunities and investing to upgrade and build trade spaces in schools.

Returned Grade 1 French immersion to 68 schools across the province beginning in September 2017.

“We understand how important health care and senior care are to New Brunswickers,” said Gallant. “We have a multi-year plan to strengthen the quality and accessibility of both health and senior care.”

The government is also contributing to the quality of life in the province by:

Investing $56 million with the federal government in affordable housing to give the most vulnerable a place to live.

Actively recruiting more women into positions of influence in the province.

Introducing Family Day, a statutory holiday beginning in February 2018 to recognize New Brunswick families.

Bringing in two new acts, the Local Governance Act and the Community Planning Act, which replaced the former Municipalities Act and Community Planning Act. This is the first update in 40 years and is intended to provide appropriate, effective powers and responsibilities to local governance.

Amending the Motor Vehicle Act to improve safety for cyclists by creating what is known as “Ellen’s law” in memory of New Brunswick cyclist Ellen Watters, who died in December 2016 as a result of her injuries from a motor vehicle while she was on a training ride near Sussex.

Tabling the Intimate Partner Violence Act to provide victims of intimate partner violence with additional tools to increase their safety while they seek more permanent solutions.

Enhancing animal protection by amending the Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals Act and the Municipalities Act.

Expanded the Integrated Service Delivery model, which features a team of intervention and support professionals collaborating in the community to provide mental health, addiction, social and emotional support, and other services to children and youth.

Signed a 10-year Bilateral Health Agreement with the federal government that will bring an estimated additional investment of $230 million for home care and mental health to New Brunswick.

Created the New Brunswick Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit to help senior’s make their homes safer and more accessible, so that they can stay in them for longer.

Preparing for the legalization of recreational cannabis in a way intended to ensure cannabis is out of the hands of youth and that the proceeds are out of the hands of criminals.

Showing leadership on climate change by creating a made-in-New Brunswick solution that respects the local economy while taking action on the biggest challenge facing mankind.

“We look forward to continuing to work with New Brunswickers in 2018 to invest strategically in our multi-year economic growth plan, to invest more to support our 10-year education plans and to deliver the best health-care system possible,” said Gallant.


The World Health Organization, (WHO), has named glyphosate a “probable human carcinogen”

plane2The World Health Organization, (WHO), has named glyphosate a “probable human carcinogen”.   Nevertheless Brian Gallant’s government continues to pay, with our taxpayer dollars, for it to be sprayed on our Crown Lands forests.

On Sept 12, You can hear firsthand how glyphosate is affecting our forests, our wildlife – and us.   Please join us.

The evening program includes:

–         2 short videos on the state of our forests

–         Kris Austin, Peoples Alliance of N.B.

–         Kevin Shaw, Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation

–         Ken Walker, Miramichi Green Party

Dr Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy  from SSNB, Inc, a member of the Coalition To Stop Spraying NB will also give a short statement.

Rod Cumberland, retired DNR Wildlife Biologist will be in the audience to answer your questions and, MP Pat Finnegan & MLA Jake Stewart have also been invited to give short statements on the issue

SALMON MUSEUM, DOAKTOWN

Hosted by Doaktown Health Alliance: 369-1995/365-7860

TUES.  SEPT 12, 7 PM  –  doors open 6.30 PM.  Admission free


The Council of the Rural Community of Upper Miramichi ( RCUM), has agreed to hear a presentation on behalf of SSNB

STOP SPRAYING OUR FORESTS

The Council of the Rural Community of Upper Miramichi ( RCUM), has agreed to hear a presentation on behalf of SSNB, Inc, member group of the Coalition to Stop Spraying NB on August 28 @ 7pm.

The Glyphosate Season is upon us – raining poison, that the World Health Organization (WHO) has called a “probable human carcinogen”  on our forests, streams, rivers, wildlife and people.  

This is done to kill hardwoods  and create the forest of softwood trees that the market wants.   Instead of poisoning our forests, we could, as Quebec has done create hundreds of jobs in thinning operations

Under Brian Gallant, our taxpayer dollars pay for this travesty.   $10 million between 2013 and 2016 was spent on forest spraying on Public Land – dollars that result in the death of deer, moose birds and other wildlife that depend on the vegetation that glyphosate kills for food and shelter.

RCUM OFFICE

6094 Rte 8 Boiestown

AUGUST 28 , 7pm.


 

2017 Budget reaction: Kris Austin PANB party leader

peoples-allianceFredericton – The People’s Alliance is once again calling on the Gallant government to stop trimming the edges and to begin addressing the real issues with our fiscal challenges. For the past 10 years, both Liberal and Conservative governments have continued to run an annual operating deficit and increased the provincial debt nearly 3 fold. This puts individuals, families and our children’s future at great risk.

The 2017-2018 operating deficit is projected to be  $231 million, with the debt climbing to $13.9 billion next month which amounts to $18,600 per New Brunswicker.  Party leader Kris Austin says this is alarming.

“Until governments get serious about ending corporate welfare, and eliminating duality, the road to balanced books will never be traveled,” said Austin. “We cannot continue to see frontline services like education and healthcare cut while corporations are given tax payer handouts left and right.”

In their 2014 audited platform, the People’s Alliance revealed how New Brunswick can save hundreds of millions of dollars annually without affecting important front line services. The party has continued to press both Liberal and Tory governments to get NB Liquor out of the costly retail division (while maintaining wholesale and distribution), merge the two health authority administrations, and stop giving tax dollars to big business. By doing so, overall fees and taxes that are placed upon the shoulders of the provinces’ citizens could be reduced and the annual deficit eliminated.