Throne speech highlights / Fourth Session of 54th Legislative Assembly
Nov. 20, 2001
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A financial and economic update, a 10-year prosperity plan,
new Regional Health Authorities, an expanded health care role for nurses, a
new educational accountability framework, a special adoption
project for children, and seven new environmental initiatives topped the list
of initiatives from this year's Speech from the Throne, which officially opened
the Fourth Session of the 54th Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick.
Entitled "Securing Our Future", the speech sets out over 30 initiatives and
actions to help secure New Brunswickers' future in key areas of public safety,
finances and the economy, health care, education, families, the environment,
energy and within Canada itself.
"The initiatives set out in this year's Speech from the Throne are designed to 'Secure Our Future' as a province," Trenholme
"This year's speech from the throne is set against a rapidly changing national
and international economic backdrop. We are all living in a time of increased
uncertainty and insecurity. Nevertheless, New Brunswickers wish to signal their
determination to forge ahead and secure their future."
Lt-Gouv. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell,
(150 DPI image)
Following are highlights of the speech:
Order of New Brunswick
- The Speech from the Throne cover depicts the design of the Order of New Brunswick as approved by Queen Elizabeth
Recognizing Sept. 11
- The Legislature will be asked to dedicate its first order of business to the unanimous approval of a motion condemning
the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the United States. The motion will express solidarity with our American neighbours and
support for Canadian armed forces engaged in the international fight against terrorism.
Securing Public Safety
- The government will implement a series of initiatives to protect the safety of New Brunswickers.
Securing our Financial and Economic Future
- A Financial and Economic Update will be presented setting out the current
financial situation and economic challenges facing the province.
- A Capital Budget will be tabled, detailing proposed capital investments
in highways, schools, hospitals, and other public infrastructure.
- A comprehensive, long-term economic growth agenda and Prosperity Plan for
New Brunswick will be released. The 10-year plan will set out objectives to
secure the province's long-term economic future. The plan is focused on four
key building blocks: Investing in People; Creating a Competitive Fiscal and
Business Environment; Embracing Innovation; and Building Strategic Infrastructure.
- Tax relief will continue in the next budget to help create jobs and economic
- A series of new red tape reduction initiatives will be introduced. These
initiatives will build on red tape reduction measures taken to date and complement
measures in the Council of Atlantic Premiers Action Plan for Regional Co-operation.
- Red tape measures will include legislative amendments to create a single
Business Registry System for licences and permits and amendments to streamline
the requirements of the Companies Act.
- Two measures to ensure continued viability and good management of the natural resources sector will be introduced:
- Total Development Strategies will be released mapping out integrated value-added plans for research,
planning, harvesting, and processing of key natural resource sectors.
- Amendments to the Transportation of Primary Forest Products Act will be brought forward to counter
losses from wood theft.
- New marketing and promotion programs will be initiated to ensure New Brunswick
remains an attractive, inviting and safe tourism destination.
- Legislation will be introduced to eliminate a number of agencies, boards,
and commissions declared redundant, to save taxpayer dollars.
Securing Health Care
- The health care budget will be increased once again next year.
- Legislation to create new Regional Health Authorities will be introduced
to ensure health services are more accessible to people and more integrated
for patients and health care professionals. They will allow for more efficient
and effective health service delivery, greater accountability and more local
input into health care decision-making.
- The final report of the Premier's Health Quality Council will be released
early next year. The report will provide advice on further steps to renew
and sustain health care over the long term.
- Access to primary health care will be improved by making better use of health
care providers through three initiatives:
- The role of registered nurses and nursing assistants in providing front-line
services and care to patients will be enhanced.
- Strategies to allow nurses to work to their full scope in all practice
settings, including emergency rooms, will be developed and implemented
to help improve access to care and reduce waiting times.
- Legislative changes to permit the introduction of nurse practitioners
will be introduced.
- A comprehensive wellness strategy will be tabled. The strategy will ensure wellness policies and programs are better
co-ordinated across government and set out priorities for action aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles in schools and
Securing Educational Opportunities
- The education budget will be increased once again next year.
- An improved accountability framework will be implemented to provide a more
systematic picture of school and district performance under the new District
- A new Intensive Core French program for Grade 5 students in the anglophone
school system will be piloted.
- New financial assistance initiatives will be undertaken to enable post-secondary
students in need to have the same educational opportunities as others.
- The Healthy Learners program will begin to be expanded to grades 6-8 to help students better understand relationship
Securing our Families' Future
- A special adoption project for children in the permanent care of the Minister
of Family and Community Services will be undertaken.
- The second year of the Early Childhood Agenda will be implemented, involving
additional supports for child care, early childhood intervention, community
capacity building and early language development.
- Amendments to reciprocal enforcement maintenance legislation will be introduced
to reduce waiting times and procedural burdens in enforcing inter-provincial
child support orders.
- The pension system for private sector employees will be modernized through
amendments to the Pension Benefits Act.
- Steps to reduce violence against women will be undertaken as part of the
government response to the report of the Minister's Working Group on Violence
- The role and operations of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women will be strengthened.
Securing our Environment
- A provincial action plan for waste reduction and diversion will be unveiled.
- Proposed provincial policies for wetlands conservation and coastal zone
protection will be released for public input.
- Legislation to give effect to the Protected Areas Strategy will be introduced.
- A climate change discussion paper will be released next year as part of
the process of receiving public input in developing a provincial climate change
- Amendments to the Clean Environment Act, Clean Water Act, and the Clean
Air Act will be introduced to ensure consistency in environmental order-making
- Additional steps will be taken to protect public drinking water supplies.
- The sustainable development of New Brunswick forests will be ensured through greater recognition of provincial forest
Securing our Energy Future
- Amendments to the Electric Power Act will be introduced to allow for private,
non-utility power generation consistent with the Energy Policy.
- Amendments to the Public Utilities Act will be introduced to strengthen
the Public Utilities Board's capabilities to serve as an effective regulator
in a more open, competitive marketplace, as set out in the energy policy.
- An update on NB Power, the work of the Market Design Committee and issues affecting electricity competition in New
Brunswick and North America will be provided during the session by the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy.
Securing New Brunswick's Place within Canada
- The government will continue its work to ensure the Official Languages Act
meets the required constitutional obligations.
- A comprehensive cultural policy will be released to further strengthen the
New Brunswick cultural sector.
- A Maine/New Brunswick Legislators' Forum will be created to strengthen intergovernmental co-operation.
- The government response to the report of the Judicial Remuneration Commission
will be tabled.
- A second annual Progress Report to New Brunswickers will be tabled to enhance accountability to New Brunswickers.
EDITOR'S NOTE -- The complete text of the speech from the throne is available online at:
http://www.gnb.ca/legis/busi/54/throne01-e.htm . Copies are also available by contacting Communications New
Brunswick, Editorial and Web Services at 506-453-2240; fax, 506-453-5329; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. MEDIA
CONTACTS: Amanda Harpelle or Étienne Allard, communications, Office of the Premier, 506-453-2144.