Letter From Hon. Cathy Rogers Minister of finance
Growing the Economy
Our Premier presented our plan to get things done for New Brunswick in the closing of the debate on the Speech from the Throne last week. In it, he discussed the strategic investments we have made to grow the economy and to help New Brunswickers.
Your government recently released the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan. The plan was developed by listening to and working with stakeholders. We were able to engage with youth, entrepreneurs, experts, academia, businesses, community leaders, First Nations, innovators and workers. They shared their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities before us.
New Brunswick’s economic growth plan is ambitious and workable. The plan will help us to create conditions for growing a solid, thriving economy here in New Brunswick.
One of the complaints made by businesses in Canada and in New Brunswick is the shortage of labour.
That is why the most important pillar in the economic growth plan is that of investing in our people through education and training in order to continue building a strong, skilled labour force in the province. We understand that this is the best way to strengthen our economy and help New Brunswick businesses compete in the global economy.
The Youth Employment Fund will help our young people get their foot in the door and will help our businesses find workers.
Our partnership with NBCC and CCNB to provide second language training to unemployed New Brunswickers will also target the skills gap.
One of the best ways for us to fill the skills gap is more affordable and accessible post-secondary education. The free tuition program that we created will help those who need the most support access university and college education free of charge.
Education is also the best way to have a proactive healthcare system. Offering more educational and training opportunities to New Brunswickers will lift so many out of the cycle of poverty.
The best social program is a job.
We believe that investing in our youth, investing in our education system, investing in training opportunities, and investing in our people is the best strategy to get our economy on the right track and the best investments to make sure that we have the best quality of life for all New Brunswickers.
We are going to continue to work with the Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation on reducing poverty.
We have made strategic investments in infrastructure, such as:
• the affordable housing to help seniors, those in poverty, women and children to have a place to call home
• the Perth Andover hospital
• the revitalization of downtown Moncton
• the $4-million water and sewer project in Grand Falls
• the amphitheatre in Edmundston
• the centre of excellence for youth mental health
• the Chaleur Regional Hospital
• the Bathurst Regional Airport
• the co-location project between the Université de Moncton and the CCNB in Shippagan valued at more than $11 million
• the $12.2 million for a new 30-bed nursing home in Grand Manan;
• all the educational investments in Miramichi
• the Miramichi Airport
• the innovation in environment research centre at Mount A
• upgrades to Route 11
• the $13 million for Chris Saunders Memorial Elementary School in Quispamsis
• Two Nations crossing in Fredericton
• $4.8 million for a permanent location for the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre;
• the Healthy Living Research Centre at UNB
• The Port of SJ
• a new trades school for the NBCC-SJ
• the SJ City Market
• the Imperial Theatre
• and the first new school to be built in Saint John since 1984
Just to name a few.
Over the last two years, by working together we have cut the budget deficit by almost half all while growing the New Brunswick economy at its fastest rate since 2004, and have invested more in education and more in healthcare.
These are the facts. But we won’t stop now. We must continue to work together to get things done. To continue this momentum we have created together, we will have to work that much harder. And that is what we intend to do.
Hon. Cathy Rogers
MLA for Moncton South