Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
Speech from the Throne
 

Speech from the Throne 2005
Highlights

  • The 2005 Speech from the Throne is dedicated to the government’s continuing work to build and preserve a prosperous and united New Brunswick by pursuing greater economic success combined with greater social progress for all people and in all regions of the province.
  • Ten New Brunswickers have been inducted into the province’s highest honour, the Order of New Brunswick, since the last Speech from the Throne.

Building and Promoting Economic Success

  • The recommendations of a working group of Cabinet will be presented and a framework for implementation will be brought forward to support and strengthen the forestry sector.
  • A motion will be introduced in the Legislature to affirm support of the supply management system for the marketing of dairy, poultry and egg products in Canada.
  • A New Brunswick Agri-Land Enhancement Strategy was developed in close consultation with the New Brunswick agriculture industry to support land development for this critical sector.
  • Minimum wage levels will be increased on January 1, 2006, and additional future increases will be proposed.
  • Legislation to address franchiser-franchisee power imbalances will be brought forward in the form of New Brunswick’s first Franchise Act.
  • Significant investments will be made in building strategic infrastructure in the coming year.
  • New Brunswick will remain the lowest tax jurisdiction for small businesses in Canada, the third lowest jurisdiction for corporate taxes, and the lowest jurisdiction in Eastern Canada for personal income taxes through amendments to the Income Tax Act and other related legislation.
  • The final two stepping stones of the Quality Learning Agenda, which includes early childhood development and adult and lifelong learning, will be released.
  • A quality pre-Kindergarten school-readiness program will be introduced in all regions of the province. This new program will give four-year olds the skills they need to enter Kindergarten.
  • The dedicated notebook computer research project has been expanded from nine to 18 classes.
  • 100 new teachers will be added to the education system in September 2006, together with 115 the following year, for a grand total of 625 new teachers over a five-year period.
    Additional increases in the number of teachers will be considered to reduce class sizes.
  • Government will continue to promote literacy by improving our library system and enhancing e-library services.
  • On receiving the MacKay Study on Inclusive Education, a policy framework will be developed to ensure children receive appropriate programs and services within an integrated framework of government services.
  • Legislation will be introduced to allow the implementation of the New Brunswick Tuition Tax Cash Back Credit.
  • The Youth Assistance Act will be amended to streamline and improve the delivery of student aid services for post-secondary students in New Brunswick.
  • A Commission on the Future of New Brunswick Universities will be launched to make recommendations on how New Brunswick universities can grow and become stronger over the long-term.
  • The federal government has been invited to participate in a collaborative investment proposal, Accelerating Greater Opportunity, which could help close more quickly the gaps between New Brunswick and the rest of Canada in terms of income, employment, innovation, productivity and export diversity.

Building and Preserving Social Progress

  • An Action Plan to improve the general wellness of New Brunswickers will be released and will include initiatives to support the Wellness Strategy set out in the Provincial Health Plan.
  • Further changes will be implemented to continue to modernize emergency ambulance services.
  • Additional measures and investments will be introduced to enhance and strengthen services for New Brunswick seniors.
  • Legislation will be introduced to allow the Province to take legal action against tobacco companies to recover costs incurred due to the effects of tobacco use.
  • A Class Proceedings Act will be introduced which will allow class action law suits in New Brunswick courts.
  • Amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will be made to establish an Ignition Interlock Program to help deter impaired driving.
  • A new Child Protection Service Delivery Model will be developed to better protect child victims of abuse and neglect.
  • A new strategy to deal with Youth at Risk (aged 16-18) will be brought forward.
  • Amendments to the Film and Video Act will mandate the use of a classification system for video games.
  • Measures will be introduced to get tougher on slum landlords and those who refuse to provide the basic standard of adequate human shelter.
  • The Residential Tenancies Act will be modernized by introducing amendments to bring roomers and boarders under the protection of this legislation.
  • A Building Safety Advisory Committee will be established to propose key elements in the development of a New Brunswick Building Code Act.
  • A strategic planning session will be organized to follow up on the recent First Ministers’ Meeting on Aboriginal Issues.This session will continue laying the groundwork for a New Brunswick First Nations Education Strategy focused on the learning needs of aboriginal children.
  • A First Nations Housing Conference will be held, work will be undertaken toward the creation of a New Brunswick Aboriginal Health Blueprint and an economic development plan for First Nations communities will be developed.
  • Government is prepared to facilitate the move toward an Accord on Relationships and Tripartite Talks on Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.
  • A second phase of New Brunswick’s Cultural Policy will be forthcoming, a Heritage Preservation Act will be brought forward and a comprehensive Book Policy for New Brunswick will be developed.
  • A Community Environmental Partnership will be created to put in place community-friendly environmental projects.
  • A Water for Life strategy will be developed to ensure safe, secure drinking water, reliable water supplies for economic development and healthy lakes and rivers for recreation and tourism.
  • Government will continue to provide help to families who will be hardest hit by rising energy costs in the coming year.
  • The creation of the new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency will be formalized though the introduction of a New Brunswick Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency Act.
  • Amendments to the Crown Lands and Forests Act will be introduced to implement the recently approved Wind Energy Development Policy.

Building and Providing Effective Government

  • Government will table an action plan in response to the recommendations of the Commission on Legislative Democracy, entitled Changing the Way Government Works.
  • The offices of the Chief Electoral Officer and the Supervisor of Political Financing will be combined to form Elections New Brunswick.
  • A New Brunswick Referendum Act will be introduced.
  • Government will change the way appointments are made to agencies, boards and commissions to strengthen the guidelines for appointments with greater emphasis on openness and accountability.
  • A new, open and accountable framework governing party leadership conventions and riding nominations will be instituted.
  • Amendments will be brought forward to modernize the Right to Information Act.
  • The Premier will hold a series of consultation forums with provincial stakeholders and the pre-budget consultation process will again include public meetings held throughout the province by the Minister of Finance.
  • A Fiscal Responsibility and Balanced Budget Act will be introduced to replace and go further than existing Balanced Budget legislation and will introduce new reporting guidelines for the province’s financial statements.
  • Another balanced budget, a Statement of Estimated Revenues and Expenses and Capital Account appropriations will be presented for 2005-2007.

Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
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