As a proud New Brunswicker with family and friends stretching from the Bay of Chaleur to the Bay of Fundy, I love every square inch of this province. That’s why I ran for leader of the New Brunswick NDP. Growing up in Fredericton, living in a small fishing village, and now in Saint John, I have an appreciation for both rural and urban New Brunswick life – both are critical to our province’s future.
In talking to thousands of people across this province, I find values that are entirely consistent with those of the NDP. The concern raised most often are that our youth are leaving. Some of us have our own troubles but we worry most about our kids and our grandkids having to leave for work and the hole that is left behind in our family, our community, our economy and our hearts.
Tommy Douglas, the first NDP Premier in Canada, founded our party on the fundamental principles of the power of people working together and looking out for each other. His government took a desperately poor Saskatchewan out of the depression and built a strong economy based on an excellent public service, a strong public sector and good social safety nets.
He implemented universal healthcare and the most ambitious poverty and unemployment reduction programme in history up to that point, which has been the basis for social democracy in Canada ever since. An NDP government in New Brunswick under my leadership would follow in his footsteps and lead us into the future.
In running for Premier, I know that we must act fast to turn this province into one where youth feel they can stay – and even come from away – to put down roots and raise their children. We must build a strong world-class public education system with universal-access childcare right across this province. We must preserve and build real social healthcare without the privatization or austerity that have not worked here or anywhere else.
My vision and our vision as a party is based on certain clear principles of environmentalism, bilingualism, labour rights, human rights, and universal public services. We must protect the world we live in. This means we need to encourage sustainable resource industries. Our province is too beautiful and its bounty too great to be ripped out of the ground with profits going to a very privileged few. Our First Nations people have always known this. It is time to start honouring their wisdom and working with them to build a better future for us all.
We must recognize and value the bilingual nature and linguistic duality which makes our province unique. French Acadian culture and many others make our lives rich and vibrant. We will celebrate together and combine our strengths to create a force that is greater than each of us on our own.
We will continue to support the trade union movement and we welcome their support as together we look for solutions to the problems faced by working people.
And we must make the voices of women a priority in our political discussions. I will be a strong voice for women in this province and our party will do its utmost to bring more women into the political process.
Our goals here in New Brunswick can be achieved. Many places have accomplished these and more. Through strong leadership, hard work and working collaboratively with a well-governed public civil service we can pull the oars together to achieve economic and social success.
This election I’m working hard to develop, with our members, a plan that respects New Brunswicker’s needs and desires for our province. I am looking forward to presenting the NDP’s plan for a more prosperous New Brunswick, one where everyone has hope in their futures and one that showcases the enormous talent and resources our province has.
Looking forward to working with you towards our bright future.