Fredericton-South MLA David Coon told a class at St. Thomas University that he believes the government has missed the mark on the 2016 Provincial Budget.
“I think they’ve missed a pretty big opportunity to do things different here,” Coon said. “I think what they’re doing is pretty conventional… it just seems like we’re doing something because we’ve been paralyzed for so long and nothing’s been happening.”
Coon won the vote in the 2014 provincial election as the first Green Party seat to ever be elected into the legislature. Since then, he has struggled to go up against the larger parties of the province, who he contests have convinced the public that “as a province, we’re broke.”
“We weren’t broke then and we’re not broke now,” Coon said. “That’s the sort of narrative that, generally, people have accepted… so, some governments love that because people feel like there’s no choice and they can just carry out their program with limited opposition to it.”
Coon said unconventional ways of doing things in politics need to be considered for New Brunswick, as well as appropriate areas for surplus to be directed. These areas included mental health care, poverty, and income assistance.
He said also said that while he hopes things such as increasing the HST can be useful, looking at the province’s assets in an integrative and unconventional way is what will truly build N.B.’s economy.
“The government has been looking for jobs in all the wrong places,” Coon said. “The right places are here in New Brunswick – building on what we’ve got, building on what we have here, what we’re able to do here, building on the great ideas and ingenuity of people in New Brunswick.”
Originally written for a class at St. Thomas University.