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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


Council of Canadians challenging TPP at “consultations” in Saint John today


Council of Canadians challenging TPP at “consultations” in Saint John today

Monday, September 26, 201

WHAT: The Council of Canadians Saint John chapter is challenging the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the local hearing today. The Council is available for comment on the controversial corporate rights pact.

WHO: Leticia Adair and Paula Tippett, Saint John chapter, Council of Canadians

WHEN: 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Monday, September 26, 2016.

WHERE: Marco Polo Room, Hilton Saint John Hotel, 1 Market Square. Saint John, New Brunswick.


“As the Parliamentary committee moves through the country, more and more people are discovering what Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz calls the ‘worst trade deal ever’. In fact, all U.S. presidential candidates are opposing the TPP,” says says Sujata Dey, Trade Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. “We don’t want this deal which would destroy 58,000 jobs, give more rights to corporations, and put our environment and health at risk.”


Don’t let the Energy East project cost the taxpayers of Saint John, cautions Red Head community group to Saint John Common Council

RedHeadSAINT JOHN – A community group of Red Head residents will make a presentation entitled ‘How much will the taxpayers of Saint John pay for Energy East?’ to Saint John Common Council this Monday night, June 27th @ 6:00pm.   The Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association share the same concern with Saint John Common Council that there is a long list of unanswered questions from TransCanada about the risks and liabilities of the proposed Energy East project.   The community group will ask Council to forward their questions to the City’s NEB Working Group who can add them to their ongoing Informal Information Requests (IRs) and future Formal IRs to TransCanada.

“If there was a spill or explosion, everyone in the city would be affected,“ says Lynaya Astephen, spokesperson for Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association.  “We will all pay if the City of Saint John does not get assurances that all the proper liability insurance, bonds, and written agreements will be in place.  We are asking that Saint John Common Council provide assurances that the taxpayers will not bear any costs of the construction, operation, spills, explosions, or fire of the proposed Energy East project.”

“The complex structure of shell companies for this project is a big red flag,” says Lynaya Astephen. “Why will the pipeline, tank farm, and marine terminal be built by money provided by TransCanada PipeLines Limited and Irving Oil Company Limited but they will be owned by different companies, both of which are limited partnership companies? (1)  Will Saint John Common Council request this information so that this limited liability structure can be explained to the taxpayers of Saint John?”

“Municipal governments have a fiduciary duty to make sure companies operating in their jurisdiction carry unlimited liability guarantees,” says Teresa Debly, a member of the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association.  “Right now there is too much uncertainly over the risks and the financial liability, so we don’t feel safe. Is this the reason why over 340 municipalities in Quebec made the decision to officially oppose the proposed Energy East project?”

“Their concern about the financial liability is justified.  A tar sands bitumen spill is very difficult and expensive to clean up,” says Mark D’Arcy, NB Energy East campaigner for the Council of Canadians.  “The Energy East will also carry some conventional oil, but it is primarily an export tar sands pipeline.  The Mayor of Edmundston, Cyrille Simard, and the Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, have publicly stated that the cost of a major spill in their watersheds could reach several billion and ten billion, respectively.   Unfortunately, under the amended Pipeline Safety Act which came into force on June 19th, the pipeline company is only liable for costs and damages of a spill up to $1 billion.”

“Our confidence in both TransCanada and the National Energy Board is tenuous,” says Mark D’Arcy. “Of the 99 questions requested by the City’s NEB Working Group,  TransCanada failed to answer, or provided incomplete answers, for 64 of them. (2)  And the Federal Government Audit released in January 2016 found that the National Energy Board was failing at their critical role as regulator of pipeline companies. (3)

“Why couldn’t TransCanada propose something cleaner?” adds Teresa Debly. “TransCanada has invested over $5 billion in solar, wind and hydro projects so why can’t they do these projects right now in our province? Our upcoming provincial carbon tax could be used to have companies like TransCanada build publicly-owned systems.  We eliminate the risks with clean energy, and as the saying goes, ‘Whenever there is a huge spill of solar energy, it’s just called a nice day.”

(1) “Energy East Pipeline Limited Partnership will own all the facilities comprising the Project except for the Canaport Energy East marine terminal, which will be owned by Canaport Energy East Marine Terminal Limited Partnership.” “Energy East Pipeline Ltd. is the applicant and will hold the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) in respect of the entire Project, including the Canaport Energy East marine terminal.”

Energy East Pipeline Ltd., 2016.  Consolidated Application. Volume 3: Commercial. 4.0 FINANCING, May, 4p.  Retrieved at


(2)  City of Saint John, 2016.  Attachment D:  Summary of TransCanada’s Responses to the City of Saint John’s Informal Information Requests (IRs).  City of Saint John Informal Information Request No. 1.  Included in Saint John Common Council Agenda Packet, April 18, p. 336-443.  Retrieved at–Dossier%20de%20lordre%20du%20jour.pdf

(3)  Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2016. Report 2—Oversight of Federally Regulated Pipelines. 2015 Fall Reports of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. January, 35p. Retrieved at


Groups Call For Saint John To Conduct Safety And Emergency Planning For Energy East

November 04, 2015

Groups call for the City of Saint John to hold public meetings, say health and safety issues are being ignored by Energy East proponents

SAINT JOHN –  Several community groups in Saint John and throughout New Brunswick are calling

on the City of Saint John to take a leadership role in safety and emergency planning for the proposed Energy East pipeline, tank farm, and marine terminal.  The groups are concerned that the so-called O

pen House on Safety and Emergency Response, being conducted by TransCanada this Thursday evening in Saint John, is not sufficient to address such a serious planning issue.

“The trade-show format of this Open House prevents adequate dialogue of health and public safety issues,” says Leanne Sutton, Chair of the Red Head Anthony’s Cove Preservation Association.  “We are calling on the City of Saint John to hold public meeting(s) that will engage the community, especially as we are dealing with serious public issues such as fire response, mass evacuation plans, and spill cleanup response.

“Other municipalities, including the City of Vancouver, the City of Burnaby and the MRC of D’Autray, have taken a leadership role and conducted studies and public meetings on the health and safety of the proposed tar sands pipeline,” says Gordon Dalzell, Citizens Coalition For Clean Air. “Obviously they understand that municipalities have a duty to protect the health and safety of their residents.”

“TransCanada has not gained the trust of people in New Brunswick,” says Mark D’Arcy, NB Energy East campaigner for Council of Canadians. “They prefer to keep people and communities isolated and uninformed about the details of their projects.  Many affected communities in New Brunswick don’t even know the route of the tar sands pipeline, and that it is proposed to run beside their rivers and bays.”

Over 280 waterways in New Brunswick are crossed by the proposed route of the Energy East pipeline, including the largest freshwater watersheds in Atlantic Canada.  Up to 90% of the oil and tar sands bitumen is destined for export, to be shipped by supertankers through the Bay of Fundy.