NB politics pot pourri 3

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NB politics pot pourri 3

Continued from here.

Issues Pages: 

A Saint John man has created a Facebook site for people to share their thoughts on official bilingualism and how it affects their lives.



Any word on a new leader for the New Brunswick PC party? Haven't been able to see anything online about it.


Applications being taken.

No offer refused.

Pierre C yr

Theres a lot of misinformation regarding the costs of dualism and bilingualism. People somehow think if they got rid of the french side of some depts like health and education it would equal immediate huge savings. But all points to such as being minimal or simply if there is excess in admin to be a generalized issue. As much a problem in english as in french sections of depts. The costs of translation for all gov work is about 2-6 million a year and dropping as technology moves forward.

If you want real savings stop privatizing. PPP's are costing taxpayers a fortune.

Pierre C yr

tducey1 wrote:

Any word on a new leader for the New Brunswick PC party? Haven't been able to see anything online about it.


One rumor is my soon to be former MP Mike Allen might go for it. I guess going to the private sector wasnt such a good prospect...


Have there been any rumours as to whether Yvon Godin is interested in running for the NDP leadership when he leaves the Federal scene this year?


Another PC leadership rumor is Mel Norton, the mayor of Saint John.


Dominic Cardy language comments unacceptable, says Yvon Godin

Godin fires back at New Brunswick NDP Leader for supporting bilingual school buses

Mar 08, 2015

NDP Member of Parliament Yvon Godin has taken a direct shot at a member of his own party, Dominic Cardy.

Godin said the provincial NDP leader should have thought twice before he raised the idea of sending anglophone and francophone students to New Brunswick schools on the same buses. He went on to say Cardy should now retract his statement and apologize.

"It's not a good idea, it's not acceptable and the francophones will not accept it," said Godin, who represents the New Brunswick riding of Acadie-Bathurst.

"We don't believe what Dominic Cardy is saying is right and he should speak to the French community about how they see duality."

Being the only bilingual province in Canada, New Brunswick offers dual services in English and French, such as separate school buses. 

"[Cardy] should not touch the issue with a 10-foot pole," said Godin.




Pierre C yr

Its an overblown issue. School busing is an admin issue not a duality or bilingualism issue. But living in this province I see on both sides of the language aisle an insistence on preserving admin positions over service at all costs. However bloated.




This is the second time that Yvon Godin has gone after Dominc Cardy since the provincial election.

Maybe Godin is positioning himself to challenge Cardy for the leadership when he leaves the House of Commons in a few months?


Cardy was wrong. The bus regulations/policies are passed under the authority of the Education Act, thus bussing is part of the education system. Every education student would learn this in their school law course. Cardy was pandering to a certain element of Anglo NBers.

Pierre C yr

At the rate they are shuttering schools the busing issue is looking more and more anachronistic. Im not sure there is that much money to be saved there but at this point any money they can save to to keep some schools open would be a good idea. Seeing how unpopular raising taxes are (see NDP in NS and Manitoba)...




In Ontario, we combined bussing a along time ago. It was changed under the Education Act. Thus school boards with shared geography created consortiums with representation from both boards eg. business superintendents, superintendents, sometimes trustees from boards, and share a consortium coordinator of transportation.

It makes sense. Picking up students who live in a "shared geography" and dropping them off at their school destination. It saves money for all boards (we may have 4 boards within a shared geography), and saves the environment.

We also have some school boards that may share a school building.

In my view, this isn't a language or education issue but an administration issue. I'm wondering if in NB, the bussing companies serve both boards but provide separate buses. I don't think this has anything to do with jobs, as in most boards, it's about "filling the bus". Thus you would still have the same number of students, and mostly the same number of busses but just more efficient. In fact, kids might have less of a bus ride.

Just my thoughts and I don't live in NB.





Still a question, separate from the unfolding of this little dispute:

Does Yvon like anyone in the NDP? In New Brunswick? [other than people who are close to him, agree with everything he says, etc... anyone can do that]

He shows a lot of evidence of having been at this too long for his own good.



KenS, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK NDP ers in NB  are thrilled with DC?



Why do people have to read in either or questions?

It is a literal question. I have heard lots in detail about DC here. Most of the praise of Yvon is that he is not DC and he has a reputation of being alled with unions, and with the side of angels in general.

But he is showing himself to be more than combative, which is consistent with what I have long heard about him working with people. I take that kind of general talk with a big shake of salt. But i thought it was interesting the idea of him going for the leadership. So I ask, does anyone know of him actually getting along with people in the NDP?    [Besides the people he is close to, constituents he mets, and all the minimum necessities of a long time successful politician.]

There is more to judging then passing litmus tests.


Jan, at least in my part of NB there are not bus companies. The busses are run by the school districts and the drivers are government employees.

With the DECs looking at recommending more school closures, the number of students eligible to ride a school bus will only increase.


Thanks Caissa for responding to my post. In a very long ago past, prior to 2000 or more, school boards in Ontario use to offer their own bus system like that. So would the school boards be responsible for purchasing and maintenace of buses too?


That is my understanding of the situation, Jan, yes. REmember we are talking about a relatively small province.


And not a parallel with Ontario having seperate school boards that for an area, BOTH have large numbers of students. In most or New Brunswick, with the notable exception of Moncton..... either the English or French school board and numbers of students dwarfs the other one.


Actually Ken, when one moves out of greater Toronto, one is talking about mid size, rural and northern boards. Many of these have huge geographies. Hence it made sense to share bussing through a consortium. And FYI, the English speaking public school boards and association is much bigger than their separate counterparts. Public school students are about 67% to separate 33%.


But the thiness of settlement in rural NB dwarf anything in ON except Northern Ontario.

And the disporopotion between French and English student body sizes for an are is far, far greater than merely 2 to 1. Like I said, except for Moncton... in most areas one of the two is a small minority. We are talking tiny about the smaller ones locally.


New Brunswick’s auditor general has issued a devastating report on the Atcon fiasco, saying the Liberal government of Shawn Graham showed “a very troubling disregard for taxpayers’ money” when it approved several large loan guarantees.

“The substantial financial loss to taxpayers in our opinion was totally unnecessary,” Kim MacPherson writes in her audit.

And she says as long as politicians can overrule civil servants’ advice on financial aid to industry, “I believe a similar situation could happen again.”

She says some of the responses from the Gallant government to her Atcon recommendations, such as a promise to be “more diligent,” are “not clear.”

MacPherson presented the audit to a joint meeting of the Legislature’s public accounts and crown corporations committees on Tuesday morning.

The Graham government gave the Atcon group of companies a total of $63.4 million in loan guarantees in 2008 and 2009. Those decisions cost taxpayers more than $70 million following Atcon’s bankruptcy in 2010.



Here's a column this week about Dominic Cardy (in French) by Roger Ouelette.  He discusses Yvon Godin's criticism of Cardy and that it is unwise of Cardy to get into a language battle and that it would probably be best for Cardy to resign as leader.

Une bataille perdue d’avance 



Raising the harmonized sales tax, corporate taxes, increasing royalties and implementing highway tolls were some of the most common suggestions made to the New Brunswick government in pre-budget consultations over the winter.


Pierre C yr

I was at one of those consultations. They were odd and meant to guide the audience but the audience didnt bend to cuts. They clearly asked for gov to increase revenues and only cut if they can point out obvious inefficiencies like maximizing usage of gov buildings... We'll know Tuesday. 


Cardy is barking up the wrong tree.


New Democratic Party Leader Dominic Cardy is calling for a judicial review of the provincial policy of requiring separate school buses for students in the English and French school systems.

The province maintains that separate bus systems are required in New Brunswick under the constitutional provisions for duality in education. Cardy has challenged whether that is indeed the case and says a judicial review could answer that question.

Cardy's challenge comes as it becomes known that eight buses in Kent County have been transporting English and French students together, which violates provincial policy. The bilingual buses are used by 92 students

Education Minister Serge Rousselle says he learned about the situation three weeks ago and he's asked department official to put an end to it.


Pierre C yr

It depends on possible savings. If the savings are substantial and can allow some schools to remain open then I think its worth a look. The fact one region kept group busing all those years kinda says it wasnt that big a deal in the first place. I think the Tuesday Budget will force some people to review their priorities.




The Gallant government is bringing in new criteria that will trigger more studies of possible school closures.


Serge Rousselle

Education Minister Serge Rousselle says the policy requires a series of three public consultations before a district can recommend closure of a school. (CBC)

Education Minister Serge Rousselle says from now on, school districts will have to study the future of any school with fewer than 100 students, or that has a population below 30 per cent of its capacity.


The new triggers "seem to me to be quite reasonable," he said.




Pierre C yr wrote:
It depends on possible savings. If the savings are substantial and can allow some schools to remain open then I think its worth a look. The fact one region kept group busing all those years kinda says it wasnt that big a deal in the first place. I think the Tuesday Budget will force some people to review their priorities.

I would also think that bussing English and French students together might be positive from a point of view of fosting harmony among the linguistic communities?

Pierre C yr

30% occupancy seems reasonable. But as Dominic said today there are schools that have run out of room and are using cafeterias for some classes and are lacking teachers such as Ecole St Anne in Fredericton where kids have to skip some class periods over it. That to me is a bigger problem than busing.

The big news today is in fact Minister Rousselle being mistaken about the supreme court ruling he quoted in defense of duality in busing. This issue could then be resolved by a relatively quick judicial review. If theres millions at play here its hard to defend any possible savings. The public wont go to the gates over this especially if new taxes and education cuts are in Tuesday's budget.


Brian Gallant’s Liberal government delivers its first budget today, and after months of tough talk about spending cuts and taxes increases, New Brunswickers will learn whether the reality matches the rhetoric.


This year’s deficit is expected to be $255 million, far below the forecast laid out in the last budget by David Alward’s Progressive Conservative government that was defeated in the election last year.


Pierre C yr

The first budget is revenue. Next year will be the cuts.  Its obvious where the right of center libs are going and itll be massive cuts. They will raise maybe 60-70 million in new revenue but are searching for 600 million in cuts. Dozens of schools, possibly as many as 40, and 3 to 6 hospitals will be closed next year.




The Liberals are investing a fair bit in trying to take the Saint John riding in October. Their candidate, Wayne Long, President of the Saint John Sea Dogs, is omnipresent.



Former NB NDP Leader Elizabeth Weir is on twitter!


Go follow her now! I know I am.

This woman is so under rated and not given the due she deserves.

Now if only Alexa McDonough would get on twitter.


Pierre C yr

4 gov agencies/crown corporations are merged but the interesting aspect is that the new agency which will be called Service NB will have a new admin structure:




FREDERICTON – Le gouvernement remplace quatre agences provinciales par une nouvelle société de la Couronne responsable des services partagés. Facilicorp, le ministère des Services gouvernementaux, l’Agence des services internes du Nouveau-Brunswick et Service NB sont abolis dans la foulée.

Des pertes d’emplois découleront de la mesure qui doit permettre à la province d’économiser 30 millions $ d’ici 2020, a admis le ministre responsable de la Révision des programmes, Victor Boudreau.

La société sera dirigée par un conseil d’administration formé de 13 membres, dont 7 du secteur privé.

Elle sera responsable notamment des services financiers, des technologies de l’information et de l’approvisionnement auprès des ministères provinciaux et des réseaux de la santé.





13 member board of directors will feature 6 public servants and 7 from the private sector. Giving the private sector primacy in decision making. From a friend who works in schools and manages a budget for provisions he says they are already sole sourcing supplies at higher cost through Facilicorp NB, one of the crown corporations to be merged, than would normally be the case from a wider range of providers.   In his case from an, surprise surprise, Irving company.



Pierre C yr



And they wonder why we have a revenue problem. Like Alberta we have just been giving our resources away.


Saint John councillors voted on Monday night to open the vault on a controversial property tax deal granted to Irving Oil Ltd. in 2005.

Coun. Gerry Lowe co-authored city council's motion to dig into the financials surrounding the LNG property tax deal.

"It's the full disclosure that we want," said Lowe.

"We want ... a full disclosure of everything that took place in 2005 and what took place in the last 10 years, because yes, it's changed." 



Cardy is probably joining the PCs.

Mighty Middle

Meanwhile (from a post last year, that I just stumbled on today) Allison Brewer says Elizabeth Weir stabbed her in the back



While CRA has the Liberals with a solid lead, Angus Reid has Gallant as 2nd least popular premier in Canada - what gives?

I wonder what the CRA politicial affiliations are, eh!



Jacques Poitras weighed in on this question on CBC News last night. Short answer, a  premier can be unpopular yet more poular than the alternatives.