Our Commitments:

Family Focused Before & After School Care

Many New Brunswick families struggle finding before and after school programs that are affordable, convenient, widely accessible and in their community. When childcare costs are high or lacking flexible hours, parents feel the burden. They sometimes need to leave their jobs to accommodate, put children in care in another language, and make difficult decisions to pay the high costs at the expense of something else their family may need.

The NDP would introduce a Family Focused Before & After School Care plan, to keep children in their communities with care right at their schools from 6am to 6pm, with childcare spaces available to everyone, at a cost that families can work with. Our childcare plan for children aged 5 to 12 years old is to implement a before and after school care in every public school in New Brunswick, wherever parental demand exists.

Once elected, the New Brunswick NDP will begin the roll out of a universal before and after school care program run by school districts to be implemented in all schools across New Brunswick wherever parental demand exists.

 Family Focused Before and After School Care plan details :

  • Childcare placed in school classrooms before the school day begins and after the school day ends, from 6 am to 6 pm, with flexible hours for workers.
  • Children will have access to all school resources such as gymnasium, library, classes, playground, etc. A play-based program will include recreational activities, nutritious snacks, homework help, music and other programs where local resources are available and appropriate.
  •   All childcare workers will be qualified Early Childhood Educators (ECE), school board employees or other workers with equivalent qualifications with all applicable pensions, benefits and sick days.
  • The language of operation will be that of the school, with bilingual exposure being a key emphasis. Childcare centres with First Nations children, and indeed all centres, will include First Nations’ languages and cultural activities in consultation with local elders.
  • Childcare will be open to everyone and there will be no waiting lists. The cost to parents will be $15 for before and after care, and $10 for just one. Existing subsidies will follow the child to the school-based program
  •  An expected 11,000 new childcare spaces will be created to meet the current demand for addition care.

“While I was Chair of the Ottawa School Board, I saw first hand how school-based community-centred childcare benefits families. Parents can drop off their children in the morning without worrying about them having to move offsite for childcare and it immediately reduces family stress when they can leave their kids in a familiar environment with familiar friends and where they are already comfortable with the staff.” – Jennifer McKenzie, leader of the NB NDP

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 !