Speech from the Throne 2018
This session marks the second session of the 59th legislature. This session will embrace the challenge of shared governance and place province above party while tackling the challenges facing New Brunswick.
“The citizens of New Brunswick opened a new era of politics by electing a legislature with a diversity of parties and viewpoints. This new era will require hard work and honest debate, as well as a willingness to accept the discomfort of diverse opinions and embrace opportunities for creative compromise and new solutions. It will also will require the party with executive power to share the ability to make decisions and for other parties to share the responsibility for finding solutions”
– Lt.-Gov. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau
The deal with public health care is this: All Canadians (and that means all New Brunswickers) are entitled to ‘reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers’ according to the Canada Health Act. The federal government supports this through payments, and the province decides how the money is spent according to the principles of comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility.
Your government believes more can be done to improve health care in New Brunswick, ensuring people who need help receive it safely and quickly. Here are just a few of the ways this will happen.
Doctors will be consulted on a new method of payment (instead of just billing numbers) that encourage collaboration, wellness and the creation of community health clinics.
Patients waiting for surgeries can expect relief as government works with regional health authorities to prioritize spending on areas that will pay off with shorter wait times.
Pharmacists and nurse practitioners will have a bigger role in providing health care, improving access and reducing cost to the system.
More nurses will be trained and recruited following the creation of a plan with input from the New Brunswick nurses’ union, regional health authorities and universities.
Home care will get special attention. Seniors and families will see home care improvements that build on the work of previous governments. Home care workers will also see benefits from a review of their wages and working conditions. Also, government has committed to reviewing its home care contract with Medavie Health Services New Brunswick to ensure New Brunswickers get the best possible service.
Ambulance response times are expected to improve thanks to a new, non-emergency service that will move patients between hospitals using paramedics who speak the language of the patient’s choice. Having a dedicated service will allow community-based ambulances to focus on urgent calls and enable Ambulance New Brunswick to immediately convert about 40 casual paramedics to permanent status.
Mental health services will be a priority, especially for young New Brunswickers. Government will review youth mental health services to ensure they are as accessible as possible for young people and their families.
Government will stabilize our health system with a, 10-year human resource plan.
Together, these actions are intended to make public health care more accessible and dependable for all New Brunswickers.
“To ensure equal access, government claims a monopoly on health services. That gives government a moral responsibility to ensure citizens in need of care get that care safely and quickly.” –2018 Throne Speech
We all agree that our children deserve the best, especially when it comes to their education. No child should have to settle for less than a world-class education because their parents live in New Brunswick.
That’s why the 2018 Throne Speech makes 11 major commitments to give kids better access to quality education. Here’s a summary:
- Reverse the decline in Grade 2 literacy levels. Government is committing to having 85 per cent of students reading at their grade level by the end of Grade 2.
- Prominently post literacy, math and science scores online, with government held accountable for improvements.
- Create a new Classroom Freedom Act to give local principals, teachers and parents the flexibility to make choices that help children in their classrooms and communities.
- Ask teachers to lead a red-tape reduction review to cut the number of mandated curriculum directives and review policies regarding teacher discipline, learning environment and school nutrition.
- Address the challenge of classroom composition. Without disrupting inclusion, government will support the call for flexible learning groups and student-based teaching resources to help every child to learn at their best.
- Host an education summit within six months that seeks partners to develop community schools, after school learning models, cooperative and volunteer education and experiential learning.
- Decide how to make bilingual communication an opportunity and expectation for all New Brunswick students.
- Hire private sector psychologists to reduce wait times for educational/psychological assessments.
- Work within the context of the existing 10-year Education Plan.
- Begin an evidence-based review of university tuition funding programs to compare their effectiveness to previous programs based on tax credits.
- Expand online learning, prior learning assessments and other open learning platforms to higher education is more accessible to working parents and mid-career workers.
These commitments reflect the Government of New Brunswick’s intention to build a world-class education system for our children with help from everyone who works within it.
“Our teachers and school principals have world-class skills. Our universities offer teacher training envied and sought out by countries around the world. Our teachers succeed when they are given the tools, freedom and respect they need.” – 2018 Throne Speech
If you own a small business, you may not have time to read the entire 2018 Speech from the Throne. But you’ll still want to know all the ways your government is working to boost your bottom line. Here’s a quick list of small business essentials to get you on your way:
- Government will take the lead in eliminating trade barriers. We’re an export province, so it just makes sense to build more ways to do business with other provinces and countries.
- Government will explore adding community micro-credit programs to the mandate of Opportunities New Brunswick. Micro credit typically provides very small loans to people who want to turn their idea and passion into a business, but can’t get the credit they need from traditional lenders.
- Changes to the Local Governance Act are intended to give municipalities more control over economic development and tourism decisions.
- Speaking of tourism, the government will develop a strategy focused on building sustainable physical and cultural infrastructure in cities and small communities.
- New Brunswick’s new Small Business Minister will lead a red-tape-reduction effort to reduce rules and paperwork faced by small and medium-sized businesses.
- Government will provide a timetable for the elimination of two taxes that are a burden to business – the small business tax and the double property tax on secondary properties.
- Rising WorksafeNB premiums are tough for small business to manage. Government will bring forward legislation to permanently reduce those premiums while strengthening safe work practices.
Taken together, these actions are intended to energize New Brunswick’s private sector, creating jobs and opportunity for future generations.
“When it comes to job creation, we need to stop hunting and start gardening – growing our own businesses with our own people. “ –2018 Throne Speech