Fredericton, News, Politics, St. Thomas University

Fredericton South MLA Coon upset by budget

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.

Aquinian, Canada, News, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Track and field team prepares for Montreal

St. Thomas’ track and field team is headed to Montreal Jan. 29-30 for the annual McGill Team Challenge.

The regular indoor track meet will see a variety of events in the heptathlon and pentathlon categories, such as different-length runs and hurdles, pole vaults, relays and high jumps. Because it is an indoor meet, throw events will be restricted to weight throw and shot put.

But with pressure coming down on the team, each athlete from the men and woman’s team is finding their own way to cope with the stress and are looking to beat their personal bests.

Full story here.

Fredericton, Irving, New Brunswick, News, Politics, St. Thomas University

Professor calls pressure to develop shale ‘corporate blackmail’

A professor at St. Thomas University has urged that the province of New Brunswick should not feel pressured to develop its shale gas industry.

Tony Tremblay, Canada Chair in New Brunswick Studies, addressed the issue of corporate “blackmail” in a recent editorial, saying it implies N.B. has no right to partner with others if it does not develop its own deposits.

“What the overheated rhetoric obscures is that New Brunswickers want what is best for their province,” Tremblay said. “Not what is best for corporations at the expense of New Brunswick, but what is best for New Brunswick in equal partnership with corporations.”

Exploration of shale gas was encouraged by the previous Conservative government of Premier David Alward. In October 2013, a demonstration against shale gas near Rexton turned violent, resulting in five RCMP cars burned and 40 arrests.

Tremblay said the implications of governments who favour those with similar ideas is worrisome for those in economic barrens.

“When a narrow-minded agenda is aligned squarely with the interests of resource-extracting economies then non-resource extracting economies such as New Brunswick must develop their own policies in overheated and often coercive environments,” he said.

Soon after the Liberal government was elected in the fall of 2014, it legislated a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. A three-member commission was named to investigate and make recommendations, such as new regulations for the industry and feedback from consultations with First Nations representatives. Its findings are expected to be reported to the legislature by the end of March.

Premier Brian Gallant cannot commit to a decision until the panel reports. Despite this, editorials in the Irving-owned Brunswick News Inc. newspapers Monday are already calling for a lift of the moratorium as soon as possible.

Tremblay stressed that the alternative to this blackmail from corporations is a responsible and respectful dialogue with New Brunswickers.

“New Brunswickers await clear and honest answers to legitimate questions,” he said. “In an absence of these answers…New Brunswickers will continue to be skeptical of the shale gas agenda.”

He also said that the threats and continued insults will never be enough and will not win the long argument.

“What New Brunswickers have been asking for all along, and what our leaders seem strangely incapable of providing, is transparency and forthrightness,” Tremblay said. “If there is a moratorium on anything in this province, the moratorium on transparency is surely the longest-lived.”

Originally written for a class at St. Thomas University.

Aquinian, Fredericton, New Brunswick, News, Profile, Sports, St. Thomas University, Students

Provincial and STU records broken

Two Tommies got-off to a record-breaking start this season at the 2015 Gagetown Indoor Track and Field Meet Nov. 28.

Jonathon Gionet broke the New Brunswick shot put record with a 14.86 meter throw, while Sarah Hickman broke St. Thomas University’s record in the 60 and 200 meters race.

Gionet, a fourth-year student from Bathurst beat the 21-year-old former record of 14.85 meters. This was also a personal-best performance for Gionet that earned him the 2015 Atlantic University Sport title.

Full story here.