Our Commitments:

Family Focused Before & After School Care

The NDP would introduce a child care program in every New Brunswick public school wherever parental demand exists. Childcare will be offered in school classrooms before the school day begins and after the school day ends for school-aged children, from 6 am to 6 pm, with flexible hours for shift workers. Childcare will be offered for toddlers in the schools during the day too.

Childcare will be open to everyone and there will be no waiting lists. The cost to parents will be $10 per child. Existing provincial and federal government subsidies will follow the child to the school-based program.

‘’10$ a day childcare, goes hand in hand with $15 minimum wage for lifting young families to a living wage and releases 18,000 new workers into the economy.  Families that can afford not only food and rent, but also to enroll their children in community activities are what keep vibrant communities alive. ‘’ – Jennifer McKenzie

Other highlights :

  • All childcare workers will be public servants and qualified Early Childhood Educators (ECE).

  • The language of operation will be that of the school, with bilingual exposure a key emphasis.

  • Children will have access to all school resources like gyms, libraries and playgrounds. A play-based program will include recreational activities, nutritious snacks, homework help, music and other programs.

  • The NDP’s plan will create an expected 20,000 new before and after school childcare spaces and 4000 new pre-school spaces to meet current demands for additional care.

‘’Many New Brunswick families struggle to find child care that is affordable, accessible and conveniently located. Parents feel the burden when childcare costs are high or lack flexible hours. Many question whether they should leave the paid workforce, put their children in care in another language, or slash their family budgets to afford the high costs of childcare. ‘’ – Jennifer McKenzie

Jennifer McKenzie Announces Support for $15 Minimum Wage

“Today I announce that the New Brunswick NDP will join the campaign for a $15 minimum wage “ said Jennifer McKenzie, Leader of the New Brunswick NDP in an announcement in Saint John today. New Brunswick families deserve a fair wage and a decent living. That’s why an NDP government would increase the minimum wage by $1 a year for four years until it reaches $15 an hour.”

“We cannot prosper and thrive in New Brunswick if each and every one of our workers can’t feel safe and secure at work and able to get ahead financially. Other provinces are now moving to recognise the harm to all of society when we have too much income inequality. Ontario and Alberta have now joined a North American movement for a fifteen dollar minimum wage. Its time we did too.”

The New Democratic Party will also address the world of working men and women and help to make real improvements in their working conditions and incomes in the upcoming election.

“Today I announce that an NDP government would conduct a comprehensive review of employment standards in the province with the clear objectives:

To improve the working lives, working conditions , and well being of all New Brunswick workers;

To increase the coverage of employment standard legislation to those currently excluded by the legislation;

To introduce common employer provisions to make franchisors responsible for the working conditions of employees of franchisees;

To end the practices of split shifts , call ins without pay and never knowing when you are scheduled to work’”

“We will run on a package of labour reforms that will help improve the lives of women and reduce youth out-migration” say the leader,   “I want to make the voices of women a priority in our political discussions and working women are disproportionately represented in low paying precarious work.”

A New Approach to Home Care in New Brunswick

The Gallant government has just announced – with great fanfare – the building of ten new nursing homes and the creation of 1000 new beds. These may be needed but how can it take this momentous step without first addressing Home Care? Wasn’t the strategy supposed to be keeping people in their own homes first?

The New Brunswick NDP has announced a six step plan for Home Care that we will implement when we become government:

First, with regards to the new funding announced by the federal government of $230 Million over ten years, we will invest all of the funding earmarked for Home Care to the expansion of the Extra Mural Program to provide medical needs and home services supports to seniors and other New Brunswickers needing care. This will allow more patients to receive health care sevices in their own homes.

Second, We will end privatization in our health care system. We will return Ambulance New Brunswick, the Extra Mural Program and Tele-Care to the province to be run as a public institutions. We will end the contracting out of all management of services in our hospitals and end discussions with Sodexo.

Third, we will create immediately a new government agency, Home Care Service, to provide home support services that will allow seniors and others requiring support in their home to have access in a reasonable and affordable manner. All personal support workers and other personnel will be public servants and paid government wages and benefits. Where it makes sense, we will transition by integration of existing non profit services and staff into the new public agency.

Fourth, we will expand Tele-Care to complement the Home Care Service and to provide advocacy to assist New Brunswickers needing multiple services to navigate our health care and social services and direct them to the support they need.

Fifth, we will study the best way to create a Community Care public agency to replace the myriad of agencies that currently exist so that it that gives the province the accountability and transparency we need, creates uniform standards, and allows the workers in this industry to become public servants and earn living wages. We will implement such a public agency within our first mandate as government.

Finally, upon election we will apply pay equity legislation to this important sector so that, along with the announced introduction of an increase to a $15 minimum wage, the wages of those providing home care and community care services will be improved.

The New Brunswick government’s approach to the delivery of seniors and community care is to rely on patch work quilt of hundreds of agencies , some non- profit, some for- profit but all delivering services with inadequate standards and almost invariably at low wages with no benefits. This industry is plagued by high turnover and shortages.

It is perhaps not surprising that women are in the large majority in this sector.
This is in stark contrast to the excellent service provided by the government Extra Mural program which provides for medical needs of clients in their homes, and up until last year was run by our health care authorities as a public institution with union wages and benefits.

It is well understood that the key to reducing preventable hospital visits and the number of patients occupying hospital beds unnecessarily is an effective and coordinated transition process. This s is particularly important for seniors and people with disabilities who have the capacity for independence but still require attentive care. A continuum of care for New Brunswickers requires partnership, communication and oversight – all sorely missing and only made worse by the transfer of Extra Mural to Medavie.

Post Secondary Education in New Brunswick

As I travel across the province, the concern raised most often is that our youth are leaving.  Some of us have our own troubles, yes, but we worry most about our kids and our grand-kids having to leave for work and the hole that is left behind in our family, our community, our economy and our hearts.

For youth to stay here, we must make  sure that youth see a bright future in this province. This means we must put a stop to precarious work where youth and too many others have to work two or three jobs to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.  Why work for $11 an hour here, when they can move elsewhere and find full time employment?  We must cultivate stable employment right here in New Brunswick. That is why we are pushing for a fifteen dollar minimum wage.

And  we must insure our youth are well educated and  well connected to the rest of the world.   We must build a province where youth feel welcome and are given the conditions to thrive.

Instead, today higher education  is becoming more and more difficult for students in obtain New Brunswick.  Under Liberal and Conservative governments, tuition fees in universities have risen by 20% since 2010 to the point where New Brunswick students now have the highest average debt load in the Country and they pay the highest interest rates on that debt.  While the Gallant government may tout  education spending with the introduction of Tuition Access Bursary,  the province is actually spending $20 million dollars less today on student financial assistance than it was before 2010.

Our universities are no longer competitive with  schools across Canada.

If we are going to invest in our future and keep our youth here, we must do more. It is time to start taking bold steps towards universality in Post-Secondary Education. It’s time to start making post secondary education a public  right.

The NDP will make access to higher education more affordable for all New Brunswick students. These measures will be available to all students across Canada who choose to study in New Brunswick universities or community colleges.   Youth are welcome here!

We know from experience that many students who come to New Brunswick from across Canada and the world  often decide to stay in our province,  find employment , create businesses and  raise families.

Our plan will prevent the Gallant government planned 2019 tuition ‘reset’ that has  cause tuition fees to skyrocket at the University of New Brunswick.

In our first year in government the New Brunswick NDP will implement the following measures:

  • Eliminate tuition fees at all NBCC/CCNB  community colleges;
  • Reduce undergraduate tuition for all New Brunswick publicly funded universities by 25%;
  • Eliminate interest charges on all existing and future student loans for New Brunswick residents;
  • Increase up-front financial assistance for Graduate Students by expanding eligibility under the Tuition-Access Bursary (TAB) and allow graduate students to access tuition relief for the middle class under the Tuition Relief for Middle Classs program (TRMC);
  • Introduce a Graduate Student Scholarship Program;
  • Invest in dedicated mental health services on campus;
  • Ensure on campus  harassment and  sexual assault prevention policies exist in all colleges and universities with capacity for  investigation, education and enforcement;
  • Ensure fair funding for St Thomas University.

It is time for New Brunswickers to say to our youth, we want you here !

Environmental Leadership to preserve our nature and counter climate change

New Brunswick is quite simply an exceptionally beautiful province with an abundance of natural resources and unspoiled green spaces. From la Baie des Chaleurs to the Bay of Fundy, through the beaches of Shediac to the heights of Mount Carleton, the province is full of magnificent places where young and old alike can enjoy breathtaking natural settings.

It’s a privilege to live in New Brunswick and we are lucky to be able to enjoy it with friends and family, but we must take care of it for future generations.  Working hand in hand with Indigenous peoples, we can harness New Brunswickers’ own skills, abilities, wisdom and resilience to lead in renewable energy, while protecting the environment and conserving our natural resources.

To protect our forests, the NDP would set a target of at least 17% for land conservation. The NDP would end glyphosate spraying, protect older growth forests and implement the best forestry practices to protect and carefully develop our forestry resources.  The NDP would develop regulations to prevent the stripping of agricultural land for residential purposes.

The shores and coastline of New Brunswick must also be protected, The NDP will increase the 30 metre setback from navigable waterways and wetlands and classify of all waterways in the province in order to provide better legal protection. Existing protections for freshwater wetlands and flood zones will be enforced or strengthened.

The ocean is a central part of New Brunswick’s history and a key part of our economy and must also be carefully monitored and protected. Working with the universities and colleges, the NDP would support centres of excellence for research into best practices for the protection of the ocean floor and the designation of marine conservation areas to preserve and protect natural habitats and provide recommendations to the federal government.

The NDP will introduce a Carbon Reduction Fund  to help the province transition to green energy through the introduction of a $30/ton carbon reduction program to reach $ 50/ton after four years. Generated funds will go back to support people in New Brunswick as well as be used to invest in green energy, green infrastructure, and green innovation.

One-third of the funds generated through this program would returned to low- and middle-income people in the form of a rebate. One-third of the funds would be invested in green energy such as wind, solar, tidal, hydro, nuclear, and geothermal, and the associated upgrading of the electrical infrastructure.  These projects would be distributed across the province. The remaining one third of the funds would be invested in green infrastructure programs such as electrified public transit and the reintroduction of the popular energy efficiency savings program with an emphasis on targeting low-income households. The Carbon Reduction Fund will be used to create a green innovation fund for our own researchers and engineers to develop “Made in New Brunswick” green technology within public governmental and academic institutions.

The combined effect of the carbon reduction program and the investment in green infrastructure is expected to have a strong effect to transition New Brunswick to a carbon-free economy. As New Brunswick transitions to greener sources of energy that have low or “free” fuel costs, the price of electricity should remain the same or be lowered creating a healthier economic environment for people and businesses alike.

It is time for leadership on the environment in New Brunswick and to take real action to address climate change and preserve our environment.  We must take back the management of our natural resources so that they are managed in the people’s best interest and in ways that are sustainable and respectful of our environment.

One in five New Brunswickers have no prescription drug coverage, and over a quarter of Atlantic Canadians have admitted to rationing an existing prescription or not filling or renewing a prescription in the last 12 months because they could not afford it. The NDP believes it’s time to make medicine affordable for all New Brunswickers.

Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Office estimates that $503 million is spent on prescription drugs in New Brunswick each year—$300 million by various private plan insurers and uninsured individuals, and $203 million by the province. Income-based drug coverage plans—especially those with big deductibles—undermine access to essential medicines. They force people to pay out-of-pocket for routine medicines. Not surprisingly, some people neglect to take preventative medication for conditions like heart attacks and strokes because they cannot afford the expense.

”New Brunswickers who get sick and end up in emergency rooms because they cannot afford prescription drugs can lead to outcomes such as longer wait times for everyone else. In the end, we all pay the social cost of neglecting prevention. In fact, the lack of preventative healthcare treatment costs the Canadian government as much as $9 billion every year.” – Jennifer McKenzie

Our plan for universal pharmacare in New Brunswick : 

The NDP fully supports a national universal pharmacare plan that is cost shared by federal and provincial governments. An NDP government will push hard on the national level for such a plan. In the mean time, we will implement a “Made in New Brunswick” universal pharmacare plan.

We will invest $50 million to establish universal coverage, including everyone in New Brunswick who is not covered by an existing insurance plan. All prescription drugs currently listed on the New Brunswick Drug Plan Formulary will be covered. All those currently covered by the New Brunswick Drug Plan and the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program will not lose any coverage. The $50 Million investment will take New Brunswicks share of the total cost of pharmacare up to 50%.

In our first year of government, we will study various funding options that will allow New Brunswick to have a universal pharmacare plan at a reasonable cost. We will examine the best way to pay for this program from three sources:

  • The province pays 50%

  • Individuals: employees, self-employed, retired and those who are not in the workforce

  • Employers