New Brunswick

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Summary 2018 New Brunswick Election Platforms

The New Brunswick election will be on Monday September 24th. The major election issues have been related to gender equality, minimum wage and taxes, seniors care, and post-secondary education.

Liberal Party of New Brunswick

The main focus of the campaign is improving the health care system, fighting climate change and protecting the environment, and ensuring the province’s economy is flourishing. Under the Liberal Party’s leadership, the government would invest $400 million in health-care infrastructure with an additional $50 million dollars to modernize rural hospitals. The party has also committed to increasing the number of health care professionals, and the creation of additional urgent care centres. The Liberal Party has also committed to increasing staff in long-term care homes and building three new 60 bed nursing homes, and plans to create 1,000 LTC beds over five years. The Liberal Party has pledged to create the New Brunswick Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit to ensure that they can live at home independently for longer.

The Liberal Party of New Brunswick has pledged to, if re-elected, to creating an Accessibility Act for the Province of New Brunswick, in addition to implementing the New Brunswick Disability Action Plan, which introduces recommendations to remove barriers for people with disabilities. The New Brunswick Liberal Party has also pledged to ensure that all new infrastructure projects will be viewed with a disability lens.

The Liberal Party of New Brunswick has indicated that it will continue to implement its Ageing Strategy. The party is committed to increasing the minimum wage in the province, and increase the taxation of the richest in the province. You can read their full platform here​.

Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick

The Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick is proposing many changes to
healthcare policy. The Progressive Conservative Party would expand the physician’s assistant
program, and would develop a program to retain more doctors, nurses, and specialists. The
Progressive Conservative Party would expand the collaborative care models within the health
system, such as Family Medicine New Brunswick.

The Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick is also pledging to make changes to make changes to the province’s social services. The Progressive Conservative Party has proposed engaging with private psychologists to ensure that children with learning disabilities and mental health challenges are supported until public service vacancies are filled. The Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick has also committed to increasing the number of home care professionals and funding for accessible home renovations to support aging-in-place. The Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick has also stated that they will increase the minimum wage, and would rework social assistance programs. The full platform is available here.​

New Democratic Party of New Brunswick

The New Democratic Party of New Brunswick is proposing several improvements to the New Brunswick  healthcare system within their platform, and has focused primarily on the home care system and pharmacare. They would simplify funding for home-care by using the entire $230 million from the federal government to expand the Extra Mural Program to provide support services to more seniors in their own home. The New Democratic Party of New Brunswick would, if elected, streamline and simplify the home-care policies to ensure that seniors and people with disabilities receive continuous, consistent and high quality care.​

The New Democratic Party would also work to expand Tele-Care, and develop a single Community Care public agency that addresses all the complexities of home-care called Home Care Service, instead of requiring people in need to seek support from numerous agencies. To support post-secondary students with mental health challenges, the New Democratic Party of New Brunswick would create dedicated mental health services on post-secondary campuses. Over their term in office, the party will increase the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. The party would also introduce legislation to improve labour codes to improve working conditions. You can read their platform here​.​

People’s Alliance of New Brunswick

The People’s Alliance pledges to eliminate the inefficiencies of the healthcare system. This
could potentially benefit people with disabilities as they navigate a complicated health care
system to support their needs. Other policy objectives in the platform include: eliminating party
discipline during votes, providing supports to businesses who wish to hire workers, reducing
taxes within key industries in the province, and eliminating the Official Languages Commission.
You can read their platform here​.

Green Party of New Brunswick

The Green Party of New Brunswick would develop self-reliant infrastructures to reduce the province’s consumption of the earth’s resources, while ensuring that the province is not reliant on other provinces. Importantly for people with disabilities, the Green Party wants to protect all minority groups, which will create more accessible infrastructure throughout the province, while also addressing several of the problems created by intersectionality for people with disabilities.​

The Green Party of New Brunswick is committing to, if they are elected, to create an independent arm of the Department of Health to create accountability and ensuring that residents of the province are receiving the best care possible. They have also pledged to create eight new community health-care centres. The party has also committed to ensuring that the existing non-profit nursing homes have the right of first refusal to ensure there are more available beds for residents in need.​

The Green Party of New Brunswick has also committed to, if they are elected, ensuring that people with disabilities have access to affordable and accessible housing where they can have the support they need. They also would explore potential housing alternatives for seniors in rural communities that are not able to live in their family home but do not require them to live in a nursing home.​

The Green Party of New Brunswick has pledged to raise the minimum wage by $1.00 an hour until it is $15.25, while piloting a Basic Income Project in three regions, and increasing social assistance support by 13 per cent for single individuals. You can read their platform here​.​ 


New Brunswick Budget 2017

Targeted Spending and Increased Debt​

Feburary 7, 2017​ - Fredericton

With a $1 billion increase to the provincial debt, coupled with targeted spending, Finance Minister Cathy Rogers presented New Brunswick’s 2017 budget.

Education, tourism and health were the three winners of increased spending.

The Department of Health will see a 3.3 per cent increase in its budget this year, giving the department a total budget of $2.657 billion. A sizeable commitment from this budget measure is directed to mental healthcare initiatives and homecare support. Minister Rogers pointed out that legislation will be introduced to de-institutionalize mental healthcare in New Brunswick, and establish community support orders.

While few details are provided, the Government will pursue opportunities outside the government sector to increase the supply of nursing home beds. This initiative will complement measures aimed at increasing independence and keeping seniors in their homes and communities.

Funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Program will be doubled. This Program provides opportunities for employment and training for people with disabilities, Aboriginals and members of visible minority groups.

As of April 1, the minimum wage in New Brunswick will reach $11 per hour.

Official budget documents of the Government of New Brunswick may be found at
http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/finance/budget/2017-2018/budget.html.

New Brunswick Budget 2016:

​Restructuring, HST Increase and Cuts a Major Theme

February 2 - Fredericton

With the HST increasing by 2 percentage points later this year, and a swath of cuts and restructuring across the public service, New Brunswickers seem to be in for even more belt-tightening in the coming fiscal year.

The provincial government of Premier Brian Gallant tabled its 2016-17 budget earlier today by Finance Minister Roger Melanson.

Some good news points to the Disability Support Program, which currently offers flexible support for persons with disabilities.  This program will provide clients with the option to self-manage their own disability support funding.

Also in the social services and health portfolios, the Department of Social Development will be introducing dollar maximum​s and frequency limits to its Health Services Program.

Overall, this Budget focuses on finding efficiencies and revenue in what is already a less-than-robust economy.

Official budget documents of the Government of New Brunswick may be found at www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/finance/budget/2016-2017/budget.html​.

New Brunswick Budget 2015:  

Investments in Job Creation and Families Despite Tough Challenges

March 31 - Fredericton

The provincial government of Premier Brian Gallant tabled its 
2015-16 budget earlier today by Finance Minister Roger Melanson.

Cuts to school districts and courthouses were prominent, as was the introduction of a new tax bracket that will affect the wealthiest of New Brunswickers.  A sell-off of Crown assets is under consideration, and the public service is targeted for significant reduction.

While there was no increase to the provincial HST, there will be an immediate increase in gasoline taxes.

Among the various measures in job creation, the Budget provides funding for the new economic development agency Opportunities New Brunswick which will combine the best business expertise from the private and public sectors.

Health and social expenditures include removing the maximum daily amount for nursing home care, from the current cap of $113 per day when the average true cost of nursing home care is approximately $233 per day.

The government will also continue to exempt the family home from the assessment of a senior's ability to pay for long-term care, but no longer exempting liquid financial assets such as savings or investments when undertaking financial assessments for nursing home residents.  The Department of Social Development will be reviewing consulting on this policy before it is introduced this fall.

Another​ measure increases the premiums for seniors who use the Medavie Blue Cross Seniors Prescription Drug Program for the fist time since 2009.

Overall, Department of Health expenditures will be held at almost zero per cent budget growth.

There is a proposed increase to the budget for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development by 3.1 per cent, allowing for new, comprehensive plans for both education and literacy.

Budget 2015 also provides tax breaks to allow seniors or their families to renovate their homes to stay independent longer.  A New Brunswick Seniors' Home Renovation Tax Credit will be introduced, effective for the 2015 taxation year.

Official budget documents for the New Brunswick 2015-2016 Budget may fe found at:
http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/finance/budget/2015-2016/budget.html


2014 New Brunswick Budget:
Government Stays the Course
​​February 4, 2014 - Fredericton

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs delivered the fourth provincial budget of the government under Premier David Alward this afternoon, a spending plan that continues the four-year trend of maximizing efficiencies and "spending smarter".

Spending will remain below historical norms.  Exceptions are found in priority areas such as health and senior care.

Public service reform and shrinkage will continue while maximizing service delivery throughout the machinery of government.

Roughly $27 million will be invested in the affordable drug insurance program.  The Province's Home First Strategy receives $7.2 million.  Future investments and initiatives in the Health and aging portfolios will be guided by the recommendations from the "Living Healthy, Aging Well" report, released in December 2012.
(http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Corporate/pdf/LivingHealthyAgingWell.pdf​)

The government has not introduced any personal or corporate tax rate changes in the 2014-2015 budget.  $223.3 million has been committed for repairs and maintenance of transportation infrastructure.  School infrastructure receives $99.4 million for K-12 school-years.  Overall, $212.9 million has been committed for maintenance and improvement of health care infrastructure.

New Brunswickers go to the polls this September.

Official​ Budget documents for the New Brunswick 2013-2014 Budget may be found at: www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/finance/budget/2014-2015/budget.html


New Brunswick Focuses on Deficit and Economy​

March 26, 2013 – Fredericton

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs delivered the third provincial budget of the government under Premier David Alward this afternoon.  As expected, the mantra of "spending smarter" comprised the main theme of New Brunswick's 2013 Budget

This year's budget is a zero-growth budget for the healthcare portfolio, the largest share of provincial spending.  Elsewhere, budget cuts prevail.  With modest increases in taxes on significant spending reductions, the immediate economic forecasts is less than rosy.

One exception is Education and Early Childhood Development, which sees a $3.5 million increase this year.  Social Development, too, receives more money. to the tune of $4.7 million, for items ranging from social assistance rates and special care homes to poverty reduction measures and nursing home renovation.

The Province is raising personal income tax rates to where they stood in 2006.  Translation:  someone earning $40,000 per year will see a $6 increase bi-weekly.

And smokers will incur additional sin taxes, collectively contributing an additional $14 million to the Provincial treasury.

Last year's budget, with an emphasis on becoming smaller, reducing costs and achieving program efficiencies, was a fitting precursor​ this year's somewhat "streamlined" 2013 Budget

Official Budget documents for the New Brunswick 2013-2014 Budget may be found at:  www.gnb.ca/finance.

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