Thursday, February 15, 2007

Who's really looking green?

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It should be seen as no coincidence that on this day, two separate news stories dominated the media in Fredericton and Ottawa respectively. At the Legislature, Premier Shawn Graham publicly stated that New Brunswick would not be living up to its Kyoto commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The province’s current emissions are at 47% of 1990 levels, and the Kyoto Protocol calls for a 6% reduction from 1990 levels by the year 2010. The opposition Conservatives were quick to criticize Graham’s autonomous plan for environmental action, and lauded the benefits of cooperative government initiatives to combat climate change.

This situation seems remarkably similar to the battle that has been waging in Ottawa since Stephen Harper’s Conservatives took a minority government in 2006. In fact, today Parliament passed the bill of Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez to reinstate the Federal government’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. This was the end result of the headstrong actions of a Conservative government that refused to live up to an agreement that 70% of Canadians support.

In New Brunswick the situation is exactly the same, except it is the Liberal government turning its back on an international agreement, with Conservatives taking the opposite view. How can Liberal and Conservative party members in this province truly support their own leaders, when the views of each branch of the party are so clearly divergent? This hypocrisy exposes both parties and their obvious lip-service to the environmental issue.

The NDP is the only party that has supported the Kyoto Protocol and is unwavering in its commitment to improving and preserving our environment. New Brunswick deserves a voice that will represent your true values and will not play political games of chess with the lives of our future generations.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Affordable Education - It only Makes Sense!

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It is no mystery that rising student debt is coupled to rising tuition fees. The Fundy Royal NDP fully supports the students in their Day of Action for Accessible Post-Secondary Education.

While a post-secondary education benefits the student, it has an even greater impact across the economy. More education means greater productivity and greater civic responsibility both of which seem to be rare commodities in Canada today.

New Brunswick is especially hit hard with a declining population base, low government investment in post-secondary education, and some of the highest tuition rates in the country. Unfortunately, we have a provincial government interested in self-sufficiency that seems keen on studying the problem until it disappears, and a current Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal who actually voted against a free vote motion to lower student debt in the House of Commons.

What this province and this country needs is a comprehensive restructuring of post-secondary education which focuses on shaping the leaders, entrepreneurs, workers, and citizens of tomorrow. The NDP is the only party to act on this issue in response to the students' day of action. As a nation and as a province, we need to invest in post-secondary education and apprenticeship programmes.

Click to watch Jack Layton's statement on the Post-Secondary Education Act

Monday, February 5, 2007

Rob Moir Nominated as Candidate in Fundy Royal

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As the tenuous Federal minority government heads closer to the next election call, the NDP became the first party to announce a candidate in the riding of Fundy Royal. Rob Moir ran in the 2006 election and achieved 21% of the vote, and is returning to build on the party's success in the riding. Upon accepting the nomination, Dr. Moir stated: "In 2006, we won because we showed people around the country that the NDP in New Brunswick and in Fundy Royal is a force to be reckoned with... In the last election, our riding achieved the highest increase in NDP vote in the province. [In this campaign] we will present working solutions and achievable visionary goals to the community and for the people of Fundy Royal."

Rob Moir is a Community activist and Associate Professor of Economics at UNB Saint John. He is a husband and proud father of two children, aged six and four, and lives on the Kingston Peninsula. He brings a wealth of political experience, having been a candidate in the 2006 campaign, as well as having presented as an NEB Intervenor in the Emera Brunswick Pipeline Corporation hearings. He currently sits as Vice President of the Atlantic Canada Economics Association and is an active volunteer for many organizations within Saint John and Fundy Royal, including the Saint John Human Development Council, the Teen Resource Centre, Kingston Peninsula Heritage Inc., the Clifton Royal Recreation Council and the Kingston Local Service District Advisory Council.

With the nomination of Dr. Moir, the New Democratic Party has demonstrated that they are committed to the people of Fundy Royal. The party is prepared to enact change and bring true accountability to government. Rob Moir’s team is providing a vision for sustainable communities, immediate environmental action, and a better future for all Canadians.