The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton is calling on all political parties in the provincial election to put an immediate focus on a continued economic reboot which aims to put New Brunswick back on the path to growth.
The Chamber released its priority list of election issues today in advance of the Sept. 14 vote.
2020 Provincial Election Key Issues
- We should clarify the misconception that New Brunswick rewards businesses at the expense of residential property owners when it comes to taxes. New Brunswick businesses pay, on average, nearly three times as much property tax as residential homeowners.
- Double taxation
- Full municipalization of NB
- Binding arbitration – Municipalities across the province have highlighted problems with arbitration awards for the police and fire sectors and requested amendments, Municipalities have observed that the wages and awards determined through arbitration are higher than wages and awards arrived at through the free collective bargaining process. Under the Industrial Relations Act, police officers and firefighters do not have the right to strike and their employers do not have the right to declare a lock-out.
- Infrastructure projects will not be undertaken under the current IBA.
- No funding for the Public Transit stream
- New Brunswick businesses are already some of the most over-regulated, overtaxed in North America.
- Tax burden is still one of our key issues provincially and also at the federal level.
- Southeast New Brunswick represents more annual tourism revenue than all of P.E.I. This is a sector key to our region’s growth. Tourism must become an economic pillar for New Brunswick,
- The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton aims at reinstating Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) services in our region to better meet regional newcomer settlement patterns. Also, we are seeking to expedite foreign credential recognition for new immigrants across Canada – the province and associations are directly involved on this issue.
- Greater Moncton, and other large municipalities in the province, are in desperate need of more housing, specifically affordable, supportive housing and peer-led housing.
- If we continue to see funds cut and money withheld, the number of individuals experiencing homelessness will continue to rise. It seems the province received $300 million from the Federal Government, and has opted to back load the release of funds, meaning each year more of the funding will be made available. The province is going to fund only 151 affordable housing units over the next three years, and it isn’t enough to respond to the demand.
- Businesses in downtown Moncton are especially challenged. They are fighting to survive amid COVID-19, and each day their workers and customers must deal with a growing homelessness problem. It’s time for all parties to commit to fund affordable housing with wraparound services now.
- Medical marijuana is a $100 billion industry worldwide. New Brunswick (and Greater Moncton due to the presence of Organigram) could become a centre for medical marijuana innovation and research. But it the industry needs the support of the provincial and federal governments.
- Cannabis Tourism — It’s time the province expanded its view of licensed cannabis sales to include ‘farm gate sales’. Organigram has the idea of a visitor centre where people could be educated on safe cannabis consumption, how the product could be included in recipes. This could become another tourism draw (not unlike microbreweries that have tours, etc.)
- New Brunswick may be leading the country in business openings and people returning to work, but that is due more to our success in keeping the pandemic cases low, not government support to business. N.B. has been among the least active in providing support to businesses trying to recover. We need a strategic, concise assistance program that delivers the most value for money, while keeping in mind the province’s deficit position.
- September 4 – Letter to Party Leaders – Turning Point Group
- September 3 – Atlantic Chamber of Commerce (Pre-Election Letter to NB Party Leaders)