Sep. 2, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A full budget will be tabled in the New Brunswick legislative assembly on Tuesday, Dec. 1, Premier Shawn Graham announced today.
Graham said that, while it is traditional for the New Brunswick government to table a capital budget for the coming year in the fall, due to the current economic situation, it would be prudent to provide a full budget for fiscal year 2010-11, including a complete fiscal update for fiscal year 2009-10.
"An early budget will give us an opportunity to reassure New Brunswick residents, businesses and investors that we are continuing to provide strong leadership in an economic environment that continues to present challenges," Graham said.
Graham said that the pending budget is another example of the government being proactive in its response to the global economic crisis. New Brunswick was one of the first jurisdictions in North America to respond to the economic situation. In December 2008, the government released a fiscal update and set out a plan to combat the global economic downturn, including a record $1.2-billion capital budget.
Decisive actions by the government, including the five-point Plan for a Stronger Economy, have contributed to the following successes so far in 2009: average weekly earnings in New Brunswick have grown 40 per cent more than the Canadian average; New Brunswick's employment rate has grown by 0.1 per cent, while Canada's has fallen by 1.5 per cent; and the value of building permits are up 2.5 per cent, as compared to being down 26 per cent across Canada .
"Our actions have kept New Brunswick on the road to self-sufficiency as we weather this crisis," Graham said. "However, we will have to remain focused and make the decisions that New Brunswick needs to succeed, and we will do just that."
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Greg Byrne announced details of pre-budget consultations. Five public and six stakeholder meetings will take place during the week of Oct. 5. Byrne will be joined by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. Online submissions may be made beginning Monday, Sept. 28.
"We remain committed to bringing the province's books back into balance," Byrne said. "This will require that we continue to responsibly manage government expenditures and find efficiencies within our budget. We intend to seek New Brunswickers' input on how to best do this."
Graham also announced that the fall session of the legislative assembly will begin with a throne speech on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dates and locations of the pre-budget consultation meetings follow. MEDIA CONTACT: Jordan O'Brien, Communications New Brunswick, 506-457-4999.
Dates and locations of pre-budget public meetings
Dates and locations of pre-budget stakeholder meetings