Office of the Premier
Successes and challenges, along with a focus on future growth and opportunities, highlighted in throne speech25 October 2022
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Today’s speech from the throne discussed the government’s challenges and successes, as well as focusing on new opportunities for growth.
Lt.-Gov. Brenda Murphy read the speech from the throne on behalf of the government, opening the second session of the 60th legislature.
“This session begins at a time of renewal for our province, as we emerge from the pandemic stronger and more confident in our ability to overcome challenges by working together,” said Murphy. “Despite immense upheaval and uncertainty in recent years, the people of this province have shown the resilience, conviction and innovation to aim higher, reimagine old processes and practices, and seize new opportunities.”
The speech from the throne detailed the provincial government’s legislative and policy agenda. The government plans to continue to focus on five priority areas and make progress on them through an affordable, responsive and high-performing government. These priority areas are: energizing the private sector; creating vibrant and sustainable communities; delivering dependable public health care; creating a world-class education system; and protecting the environment.
“This session, we are setting New Brunswick on a new course of prosperity and long-term sustainability,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “We recognize there are challenges ahead, but, through careful planning, regular consultation and intentional actions that strive for meaningful outcomes, our province will continue to see historic levels of growth today and in the future. Increasingly, on the national stage, we are becoming known as a place of growth and prosperity.”
Initiatives outlined in the throne speech include:
Energizing the Private Sector
- Invest $5 million to help businesses embrace technology for greater productivity and increased output.
- Increase internet connectivity in remote areas to boost productivity.
- Reduce personal income tax and property tax to advance a pro-growth agenda and attract more investors.
- Complete negotiations on the Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership to support the agriculture industry over the next five years and make New Brunswick a leader in sustainable agriculture and agri-food production.
- Provide protection for consumers and suppliers, reduce regulatory burden on businesses, and provide greater efficiencies.
- Work with Indigenous and other stakeholders to transition away from coal and explore whether New Brunswick’s natural gas supply could provide a clean and reliable alternative source of energy.
- Continue to support emerging sectors, such as energy innovation.
Vibrant and Sustainable Communities
- Ensure a regional approach to economic development, tourism promotion, community development, regional transportation and infrastructure cost-sharing.
- Continue to partner with private and non-profit landlords to develop more affordable housing options for New Brunswickers in need, with a goal of creating an additional 405 units over the next three years.
- Invest $3.3 million to reduce crime and support law enforcement as it addresses drug-driven crime.
- Enact legislation focused on the safety and rights of seniors and protecting people when online, as well as ensuring the necessary tools are available to protect against intimate partner violence and find those who have gone missing.
- Combat systemic racism, advance reconciliation and foster a more inclusive province.
- Identify ways to support arts and culture and to create links to New Brunswick’s tourism sector, as identified in the government’s tourism strategy, The Invitation.
- Continue to tie annual minimum wage increases to the consumer price index, to ensure New Brunswickers can afford rising costs.
- Support people with disabilities to ensure they are included fully in the workplace and receive fair remuneration.
Dependable Public Health Care
- Give New Brunswickers without a primary care provider greater access to health-care services through the NB Health Link.
- Simplify the application form, streamline the application process and increase staff dedicated to processing new requests by 80 per cent to ensure newcomers are provided with timely access to medicare cards.
- Empower health-care professionals to work on a broader scope and connect them across the system with new ways to deliver services faster.
- Increase access to addiction and mental health services across the province.
- Expand the Nursing Homes Without Walls project, enabling seniors to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible.
- Leverage technology to put health-care records at the fingertips of New Brunswickers.
- Find innovative solutions to recruiting medical professionals, including expanding seats in existing programs to train more nurses and doctors and partnering with Beal University in Maine to enable more New Brunswickers to earn a bachelor of nursing degree.
- Increase the use of relevant data to guide investment decisions and inform system design decisions.
- Continue creating hands-on experiential work opportunities for students who are interested in learning about key sectors.
- Create system-wide changes that allow for a learning environment where teachers can teach and students can learn with minimal disruptions, where streaming is eliminated, and where parents are clear on the programs that exist.
- Support children in need through the expansion of the Food Depot Alimentaire free breakfast program and by investing in When Children Succeed, a Saint John initiative that helps vulnerable children succeed in school.
- Clarify language around strike votes, strikes, lockouts and designated workers to ensure sufficient notice periods and continuity of critical services in schools.
- Modernize governance in the anglophone sector and review required changes to the francophone sector.
- Take the necessary steps to improve land use planning and promote more responsible and managed development of land.
- Support communities in developing adaptation plans to prepare for the impacts of climate change, with a goal of having plans for all communities by 2030.
- Invest more than $47 million in initiatives to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster educational opportunities, and build resiliency to achieve the province’s greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 and put New Brunswick on a path to being net zero by 2050.
- Modernize, expand and establish new waste diversion programs to reduce the amount of solid waste being disposed of and create opportunities to transform it into new materials.
- Create a new fund for private woodlot sustainability to support private woodlot owners in implementing improved management, silviculture and forest protection practices over the long term.
- Increase transparency and oversight of Crown lands and forest management by establishing the Crown Lands and Forests Advisory Board.
The complete text of the speech from the throne is available online.