No matter where I am in the province, when I knock on the door of a young person and I tell them that the NDP wants them to stay here in New Brunswick, their face lights up. Our platform is shaped by youth for youth to send a strong signal that they can stay here and build their lives here. This is not something that they have heard in a very long time! <br>
When I explain the NDP commitment to make college tuition free and reduce university tuition by 25%, they are very relieved to hear it. The NDP will make post secondary education affordable so that they are motivated to stay, their friends are too, and we attract students from across Canada to come here and start to put down their roots. We would make provincial loans interest free for as long as they stay in the province. These ideas are met with enthusiasm after years of broken promises, tuition hikes and confused government policy.
Our childcare program is designed to attract and keep young families here too. We would put before and after school care in every single school in New Brunswick where there is demand from parents. And in under-served communities, we would put toddler care in schools too. Waiting lists would be all but removed and the stress of moving kids during the day is gone. Young moms and dads are thrilled with our plan when we tell them about it.
We are taking our plan to make this province young again one step further, our affordable $10 a day after school care, we be complemented by $15 a day preschool care in under-served areas.
Of course, universal childcare programs are good for the economy too. The NDP plan puts thousands of parents back into the workforce, raising their family income, and hiring many new Early Childhood Educators into government jobs right in their own communities. Social costs go down, GDP goes up. It is win-win-win.
I know that New Brunswick is a wonderful place to be a kid and to raise a family and I know the agony of having to move away. That is why we will build an economy that appeals to youth too. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a start but so too is reforming our labour laws so that they can have the work life balance that they want to enjoy their lives here. Too many young people are in low paying jobs and can hardly stay afloat, let alone pay off large student debts! Not much to ask for really, is it? It is what we wanted at their âge.
The NDP will build a modern economy based on our natural wealth of both people and resources. We will build a green economy and put people back to work in skilled jobs where they can feel like they are moving forward and making a difference. We will build a great school system, improve healthcare and move it closer to home and provide the social services they need when they need it. This is not the New Brunswick that we have now. It is the New Brunswick that youth want to build for themselves and for all of us. The NDP will be by their side!
– Jennifer McKenzie, leader of the NB NDP