FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government introduced legislative amendments today that are designed to provide greater accountability and transparency in the political process.

“As part of a broader effort to modernize government and improve democracy, amendments to the Political Process Financing Act and Elections Act will bring greater accountability by requiring financial disclosure for contestants of both party leadership and provincial electoral nominations,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister, Bill Fraser, who is also deputy government house leader.

The changes will make it mandatory for future political party leadership contestants and provincial electoral district nomination contestants to disclose their campaign financing by publishing the contributions, loans and other financing they received and by respecting a limit of $6000 of financial support from any one supporter.

“These amendments will help level the playing field for all contestants in a leadership or nomination contest and contribute to a more accountable political process,” said Fraser.

Making such financial information available to the public was a commitment included in the document Moving New Brunswick Forward. These amendments complement other recent steps to modernize government and improve democracy. They include:

  • changing the daily agenda of legislative proceedings to focus more on substantive debate of issues;
  • referring more legislation and policy matters to legislative committees to give private members more opportunities to participate in the debate;
  • publishing expense reports of MLAs online each quarter; and
  • making changes to improve civility on the floor of the legislature.

“We will continue to take steps to make our government more accountable and transparent as we deliver on our plan to create jobs and face our fiscal challenges,” said Fraser.

New Brunswick will be the first provincial jurisdiction to require financial disclosure from all nomination contestants in electoral districts. In amending these acts, the province will join the federal government and five other Canadian provinces that require leadership contestants to publicly disclose their sources of financial support.