August 9, 2018 – 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 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.