FREDERICTON (GNB) – The speech from the throne delivers an agenda that works for New Brunswickers by putting communities, fairness for workers, and families first, said Premier Brian Gallant. The agenda aims to support New Brunswickers’ priorities of creating jobs, growing the economy, and securing and enhancing health care and education.

The speech from the throne opened the fourth session of the 58th legislature and was read in the legislative assembly today on behalf of the government by Lt.-Gov. Jocelyne Roy Vienneau.

“The upcoming legislative session will build on the positive momentum of the past three years,” said Roy Vienneau. “Through hard work and by listening to the concerns of New Brunswickers, your government is making life better for families.”

The speech from the throne details the provincial government’s legislative and policy agenda for the next year as part of its plan to invest in the priorities of New Brunswickers.

“Government cannot just be about the bottom line; it has to put people first,” said Gallant. “Your government has proven that it is possible to see economic growth, invest in the things that matter most to New Brunswickers and still get the budget under control. We will continue to deliver on your priorities of growing the economy, strengthening education and improving health care and ensure all New Brunswickers can live with the promise of a better future.”

The government highlighted several initiatives in the throne speech:

Create jobs and grow the economy by:

  • bringing forward additional measures to benefit small businesses, building upon previous reductions to the small business income tax rate and enhancements to the small business investor tax credit;
  • launching a new strategy aimed at maintaining and growing New Brunswick's population;
  • working with partners to boost the tourism industry;
  • increasing investments in innovation;
  • restoring a provincial presence in each region responsible for linking local businesses and local governments with provincial and federal economic development programs and funding;
  • continuing to invest in the Strategic Infrastructure Initiative and leveraging federal infrastructure spending to the benefit of New Brunswickers; and
  • establishing a carbon price that minimizes the impact on consumers, calls on large industry to reduce emissions or pay its fair share, and establishes a climate fund with dedicated investments to combat the effects of climate change.

Invest in education by:

  • investing in educational infrastructure, including further investments to restore the trades in school;
  • creating additional affordable and accessible day care spaces;
  • continuing to improve literacy skills in the province using Unleashing the power of literacy: New Brunswick’s Comprehensive Literacy Strategy as a guide;
  • expanding the Integrated Service Delivery Model for providing mental health, addiction, intervention and social services to children and youth to all public schools in the province; and
  • signing memoranda of understanding with publicly funded universities which will lay out government funding and a predictable tuition for students for the next four years, funding for pilot projects at the universities to increase enrollment, increase population, and pursue research and development opportunities, and an agreement for the universities to appear annually before the legislative assembly.

Improve health care and provide better services for families by:

  • providing benefits to financially assist seniors and their informal caregivers so they can stay independent longer;
  • continuing to advocate to have New Brunswick chosen as a site for a national healthy seniors pilot project;
  • investing in initiatives to provide better mental health outcomes, better wellness and health determinants and reducing poverty;
  • introducing legislation to prepare for the legalization of recreational cannabis that will allow New Brunswick to put public safety first by keeping it out of the hands of youth and keeping its proceeds out of the hands of criminals;
  • implementing the intimate partner violence initiatives, along with improved access to family law;
  • improving access to reproductive health; and
  • continuing with the broader implementation of pay equity.

The complete text of the speech from the throne is available online.