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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The letter that IRVING does not want you to know about

By André Faust

IRVING HAS GOVERNMENT BY THE BALLS

The Irving Oligarchy has been thoroughly researched almost to the point of ad nausea. Recently in award-winning journalism story in the national post, the House of Irving by Bruce Livesey and in a book Irving vs Irving Jacques Poitras, both Livsey and Poitras argues that’s Irving more or less bullies the Government of the day to comply to his demands.

According to CBC Irving pressured the then Progressive Conservative government under the leadership of David Alward to do something about Natural Resource Minister. Subsequent to a letter authored by Irving if premier doesn’t do something about the Natural Resource Minister, then they may have to downsize some of the lumber facilities and cease all expansion. Following this letter, Bruce Northrup was transferred from the position of Minister of Natural resources to the Department of Public Safety In an interview with the CBC he is of the opinion that it was because of Irving’s influence that he was removed from the position of Minister of Natural resources.

Northrup was critical of the forestry deal that Irving wanted, eventually, Irving was able to get the government to allow him a greater percentage of the crown land.

The following is a letter that was originally published in Halifax Media Co-op (2014), and re-published on January 8, 2018, in a CBC story “Natural resources minister in Alward government says Irving letter got him fired”


Irving Letter Feb 27, 2013


The board of Stop Spraying New Brunswick believes a complaint lodged with the CBC Ombudsman is little more than abuse of process in order to stifle legitimate criticism against the use of glyphosate.

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Fredericton, NEW BRUNSWICK. On Monday, SSNB was made aware of a complaint filed with the ombudsman following CBC coverage of presentations by renowned expert Dr. Thierry Vrain.

Vrain provided SSNB with an email from CBC’s Darrow MacIntyre, in which MacIntyre points to complaints made in wake of CBC’s coverage of Vrain (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/glyphosate- thierry-vrain-1.4388887) and challenges the scientist to defend some of his claims.

Vrain directed MacIntyre to several published news articles, peer-reviewed journals and court documents – of which there are man – to support his claims. Vrain said he is used to such opposition. “I am well aware that the information I convey goes against big money interests so I definitely expect a push back. I have had quite a few opponents and complainants in attendance at my lectures … so I am not too surprised.”

Vrain is just one of many scientists facing challenges for making demonstrable, fact-based claims about the dangers of glyphosate. Rod Cumberland, an outspoken critic of the use of the herbicide as part of the province’s standard forestry practice, has also come under heavy criticism from industry – J. D. Irving in particular – for his views that glyphosate use is directly linked to the
province’s plunging deer populations.

SSNB director Vern Faulkner, a veteran journalist, called the invesigation “highly irregular”. “A media ombudsman generally exists to rule on matters of ethical principle, not on questions of accuracy,” said Faulkner. “The accuracy of Vrain’s claims cannot be disputed, and it is unbelievable that any ethical or moral boundary was challenged by CBC’s coverage of a public presentation by an expert of impeccable credentials.”

The board members of Stop Spraying New Brunswick can only conclude that a third party is abusing the office of the ombudsman in an attempt to stifle legitimate conversation, and expresses its alarm at such action.

Asks Faulkner, “Should SSNB now demand the CBC Ombudsman investigate the repeated and fallacious claims of glyphosate safety made by government and industry?”

SSNB repeats its call for government to heed the weight of both scientific
evidence and public opinion – as evidenced by the 35,000 signatures on SSNB
petitions – and end the government-funded use of glyphosate on Crown forests.
For more, see www.stopsprayingnb.ca.

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.


Proportional Representation Pure Democracy 5 Reasons

proportional-Representation

Presentation to the NB Commission on Electoral Reform, January 23, 2017

Thank you for the opportunity to present this evening. I am sure you have grown weary hearing presenters speak to the narrow focus of your charge; therefore I will speak to the reasons you must get on with recommending that proportional representation be immediately implemented in New Brunswick.

My reasons are five-fold:

1. I believe that the current first past the post system attracts (generally) poor candidates. There are exceptions, of course. But the system seems to appeal to the personality that is most prone to serving himself over others. We are saddled consistently with egocentrics and people with intense corporate connections and interests to serve. A mixed member proportional representation system would be more welcoming to average citizens with no special interests to benefit from the fact of being in public office.

2. Poor candidates lead to incompetent ministers and poor decisions. Witness the Atcon fiasco, brought about solely by elected MLAs who to this day remain in our government cabinet. Straitjacketed by the two-party system, whole regions of NB that are not on the inside of a Conservative or Liberal Registered District Association are shut out of the electoral process. Proportional Representation would allow more parties, more viewpoints, and hopefully, but not assuredly, better candidates to enter the race for public office.

3. Our current system is hollowing out the civil service. It’s hard to go to work every day wanting to do the right thing as suggested by science and evidence, only to be told by a co-opted Minister to develop a policy or program that serves a business or economic ideology, and in practice will result in adverse impacts. When you don’t see your values reflected in your work that is a recipe for suffering—by you, your family and most of all, your work. Right now one department has a motto that has arisen because of Ministerial incompetence, that is, “Loyalty over honesty.” I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

4. Your committee has discussed civics education for students who, I would argue, should be given the vote at age 16. I propose this education be extended to incoming MLAs. This would include extensive coaching on the Public Trust Doctrine (which is the principle that certain natural and cultural resources are preserved for public use, and that the government owns and must protect and maintain these resources for the public good.) AND their personal fiduciary duty to the public of NB in the management of these “resources.” Fiduciary duty, if taken seriously in NB, would not be allowing the NB government to lose many hundreds of millions of dollars on the so-called “management” of our Crown lands, also known as unceded Wolastoq territory. The Auditor General in her 2015 report has shown the government to be ignoring its fiduciary duty to the public and its biggest asset—the Crown forest– in its pandering to unsustainable industry.

5. Finally, in addition to recommending proportional representation be undertaken in NB, I would recommend your commission require changes to the NB Civil Service Act in order to address some of the shortcomings of our politicians and bureaucrats. One might think this Act would be the place to enshrine some of the selfless, universal principles of looking out for the public good and taking care of the commons for the prosperity of all but no, this isn’t the case. The Act is all about secrecy and keeping information out of the hands of the public. It is disgraceful and an embarrassment to New Brunswick. Its overhaul should be part of a major push for electoral reform—one that properly educates MLAs in how they are expected to conduct themselves while in the People’s House, and throughout their terms in office.

Thank you.

 Concerned Citizen