News

Red, Blue Have Gotten New Brunswick Nowhere

Commmentary by Rosaire L’Italien, Interim Leader of the NB NDP in the Daily Gleaner

This past weekend New Brunswickers everywhere were celebrating New Brunswick Day, and the values for which New Brunswick has become known around the country. Values like linguistic and cultural diversity, our tolerance and welcoming spirit, our mutual respect and social justice, and the great progress which we have achieved together.

 

There are many reasons to be a proud New Brunswicker, there is far more that unites us than divides us and, for that we can all be very proud. But we still have much work to do to build a better New Brunswick that works for everyone, not just the few at the top.

 

This has become clearer than ever in the wake of this year’s property tax assessment scandal. Thousands of everyday New Brunswickers saw their property taxes skyrocket with incorrect assessments and no adequate explanation. Meanwhile there are some large corporations who have the resources to focus on and fight rises in their tax assessments haven’t been reassessed since the 1970s. If they were reassessed at the same rate as the average New Brunswicker then this province would have a ton of new revenue.

 

This is a failure not of the average citizen, but of the leadership by our elected officials. Leadership is about taking responsibility and we haven’t seen our Premier and our Ministers answering for this. As a result we see large corporations gaming the system while the average mom and pop stores are being hosed.

 

By failing to fix the tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy and embracing these radical corporate tax giveaways, the Gallant Liberals are putting the private interests of the wealthy few ahead of everyday New Brunswickers who are struggling to get ahead. This significantly undermines the government’s ability to provide funding for urgent priorities such as healthcare, education, affordable public housing, public transit, infrastructure and other important public services.

 

The NDP has pledged to review all aspects of our broken, incomprehensible and unfair property tax system in a process that would include municipal organizations, cities, professional property assessor and appraiser associations and other stakeholders.

 

The property tax assessment is symbolic of how the Liberals and Conservatives have governed our province. For 131 years New Brunswick has voted for the red and the blue parties into government over and over and over again. The lack of leadership in both of these parties is not simply a bug in this current government, it is a feature of both of these political parties; they are both simply old and tired and desperately need new ideas to guide this province forward. Just look at where they have left us; New Brunswick has one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada, some of the lowest literacy rates, the highest obesity, the oldest and fastest shrinking population, and all the while seeing wages shrinking while beset by a rising cost of living.

 

Now we have a new problem in which an alarming report came out last week which said that NB’s jobless rate was going down, but not because there are a whole bunch of new jobs, but because people are exiting the work force, either by retiring or simply giving up on seeking employment. This is an alarming trend for the future of this province, which needs to be a priority.

 

We have seen some unacceptable treatment of our seniors who built this province, like last week the Manoir Notre-Dame seniors home restricting toilet paper use to people who live there. This is symbolic of the way that our seniors have been treated. We in the NDP recognize the value our seniors bring to our society and the unique contributions they can make. That’s why we will work with seniors to enhance and strengthen the role they play in our communities while ensuring they receive the care they need in later stages of life.

 

We can do better! We have a beautiful province that is blessed with loads of untapped natural resources, most significantly our people, which have the potential to turn us into a powerhouse if only they were properly nurtured and supported.

 

The Liberals and Conservatives focus on corporate bailouts and photo opportunities. They like that system because it gives them the chance to cut ribbons and make big promises – but the reality of their failures are all around us. It’s a system that works for Liberals and Conservatives but it doesn’t work for New Brunswickers.

 

It is time for change! After 131 years of Liberal and Conservative governments we have a pretty good sense of the direction of them, and feel that the NDP can do better. We have for years put up with the struggling economy and endless scandals under the Liberals and Conservatives. Instead of focussing on the priorities that matter to New Brunswickers, priorities such as health care, good jobs, education, fixing our roads – they have cut them.

 

New Brunswickers can count on the NDP to stand up for a better, more equal New Brunswick where no one is left behind. Let’s continue to work together to build a better country and a better future for our children and grandchildren.

 

Happy New Brunswick Day!

Today, New Democrats join New Brunswickers everywhere in celebrating New Brunswick Day. Today we celebrate the values for which New Brunswick has become known around the country. Values like linguistic and cultural diversity, our tolerance and welcoming spirit, our mutual respect and social justice, and the great progress which we have achieved together.

There are many reasons to be a proud New Brunswicker, there is far more that unites us than divides us and for that we can all be very proud. But we still have much work to do to build a better New Brunswick that works for everyone, not just the few at the top.

And we must remember that this anniversary also marks a very painful period for Indigenous Peoples, who continue to suffer from deep inequality and injustices. On Canada’s 150th anniversary, let’s commit to meaningful reconciliation, and to making Canada more equal, just and inclusive. Let’s also commit to protecting our environment, defending the vulnerable and reducing inequality in communities across the country.

Canadians can count on New Democrats to stand up for a better, more equal Canada where no one is left behind. Let’s continue to work together to build a better country and a better future for our children and grandchildren.

On behalf of all New Democrats, I wish you and your family a safe and Happy New Brunswick Day.

-Rosaire L’Italien, Interim Leader of the NB NDP

The NB NDP is Hiring!

Job Title: Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper

Job Type: 30 hours per week

Starting Date: As soon as possible

Salary: $15.00 per hour

Application deadline: August 11, 2017

 

Description: We are looking for an administrative assistant/bookkeeper to maintain the day to day office administration activities of a political party in our NB New Democratic Party office in Fredericton New Brunswick.

Summary of duties

  • Respond to enquiries or direct to appropriate person; greet visitors
  • Provide basic administrative support to staff (maintaining records, filing, data entry, typing)
  • Record and prepare minutes of meetings
  • Maintain inventory of office supplies and order supplies as required
  • Assist in preparing mailings to our membership and supporters
  • Update financial data in databases to ensure that information will be accurate and immediately available when needed.
  • Responsible for Payroll, bank deposit, preparing cheques, paying invoices, etc.
  • Prepare mid-year and year-end Financial Reports for Elections NB
  • Update accounts receivable, accounts payable and perform reconciliations
  • Prepare year-end closings for audit
  • Provide Income Statements and Balance Sheets to Treasurer as needed
  • Provide Bank Statements to RDA’s Treasurers
  • Assist with other duties as required

 

Qualifications and Requirements

 

  • High school diploma;
  • Bilingual (French and English);
  • Exceptional oral communication skills, good writing skills;
  • Friendly and professional attitude;
  • Experience with MS Office Suite;
  • Familiarity with bookkeeping and basic accounting procedures;
  • Experience with Sage 50 is an asset or similar;
  • Post-secondary education and/or related professional experience preferred;
  • Interest in New Brunswick politics desired;
  • Accuracy and attention to detail;
  • Excellent organizing abilities;
  • Knowledgeable of the New Brunswick Political Process Financing Act (N.B. 1978, c. P-9.3) is an asset.

 

Please submit a resume with cover letter to:

Executive Director

info@nbndp.ca

2-924 Prospect St.

Fredericton, NB E3B 2T9

Phone: (506) 458-5828 (local)

(844) 637-6731 (toll free)

 

New Brunswick’s New Democrats are an employment equity employer. Women, persons of color, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons are encouraged to apply for this position. If you are a member of an equity-seeking group, you may choose to identify as such in your application.

 

We thank all applicants for their interest however only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Sears Must Pay Workers Instead Of Bonuses

The NDP is calling on the Liberal government to protect pensions and health care benefits of Sears Canada employees and retirees.  Sears Canada will pay $7.6 million in bonuses to 43 executives while 2,900 employees are laid off without severance. Like other large multinational corporations, Sears is permitted under Canada’s bankruptcy laws to pay big bonuses to their executives instead of being forced to pay severance of the workers the company has laid-off.

 

“The pensions earned by workers from Sears Canada are deferred wages, plain and simple.” Said Rosaire L’Italien, Interim Leader of the NB NDP “These pensions are not Sears money, they are the workers’ money. This money was taken off of the workers paycheques to go towards their pensions. Some people have worked there 20 or 30 or more years and have paid into their pensions all along.”

 

“Diverting, withholding or seizing those funds should be illegal. The current system under the Liberals is broken. The Liberal government needs to stand up for Canadian retirees and stop the organized theft of workers’ pensions.” Added Mr. L’Italien.

 

Sears Canada, like other large multinational corporations, is using Canada’s inadequate bankruptcy laws to take money meant for workers’ pensions and divert it to pay off their secure creditors, who in many cases, are often their parent companies.

 

“The Liberals must lead by example and prioritize protecting workers’ pension plans. Workers fulfilled their obligation regarding paying into their pension; companies like Sears Canada must do the same. This needs to be about fairness for workers. We will continue to fight for a New Brunswick that works for everyone and we will make sure corporations and multinationals can’t steal the pensions their workers and retirees have earned.” Said Mr. L’Italien.

 

The NDP believes that a contract is a contract is a contract. We owe our retirees better than promising a plan for their retirement then reducing it without their input and consent. The NDP’s policy has always been that workers’ pensions, back salary and overtime should be paid before their bosses’ bonuses, dividends and shareholders. It is simply the right thing to do, morally.

Sears workers’ pensions sacrificed to corporate welfare

Commentary by Rosaire L’Italien in The Daily Gleaner

Canadians can count on the NDP to keep fighting for workers, pensions and a fairer Canada that works for everyone, not just the big corporations and the wealthiest.

The NDP is calling on the Liberal government to protect pensions and health-care benefits of Sears Canada employees and retirees. Sears Canada will pay $7.6 million in bonuses to 43 executives while 2,900 employees are laid off without severance.

Like other large multinational corporations, Sears is permitted under Canada’s bankruptcy laws to pay big bonuses to their executives instead of being forced to pay severance of the workers the company has laid-off.

The pensions earned by workers from Sears Canada are deferred wages, plain and simple. These pensions aren’t Sears money, they are the workers’ money. This money was taken off of the workers paycheques to go towards their pensions. Some people have worked there 20 or 30 or more years and have paid into their pensions all along.

Diverting, withholding or seizing those funds should be illegal. The current system under the Liberals is broken. The Liberal government needs to stand up for Canadian retirees and stop the organized theft of workers’ pensions.

Sears Canada, like other large multinational corporations, is using Canada’s inadequate bankruptcy laws to take money meant for workers’ pensions and divert it to pay off their secure creditors, who in many cases, are often their parent companies.

The Liberals must lead by example and prioritize protecting workers’ pension plans. Workers fulfilled their obligation regarding paying into their pension; companies such as Sears Canada must do the same.

This needs to be about fairness for workers. We will continue to fight for a Canada that works for everyone, and we will make sure corporations and multinationals can’t steal the pensions their workers and retirees have earned.

The NDP believes that a contract is a contract is a contract. We owe our retirees better than promising a plan for their retirement then reducing it without their input and consent. The NDP’s policy has always been that workers’ pensions, back salary and overtime should be paid before their bosses’ bonuses, dividends and shareholders. It’s simply the right thing to do.

The Liberals and Progressive Conservatives have left New Brunswick with one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada. Between 2005 and 2011 the Liberals, and then the Tories, gave $150 million of your money to companies that no longer exist.

Corporate welfare chokes off economic growth and discourages investors. They love talking about ‘creating jobs’ but too often that means bribing outside companies with your tax dollars. Too often those jobs aren’t sustainable and those companies leave after a few years, or demand more and more in government subsidies. New Brunswick deserves better.

This Sears deal that the Gallant Liberals offered was more of the same. If we add up the payroll rebates, the non-refundable loans and the additional grants from the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (money that was earmarked to help recent graduates find jobs in their fields) that equals $11,789,000 in subsidies to Sears from the New Brunswick government. That equals $22,243 per job.

The NDP will end corporate handouts. They don’t work. They cost us money we don’t have, money that has to come from programs we need – such as health care and education.

When entrepreneurs and small-business owners can’t get a fair start because they don’t have the right political connections, it hurts everyone. The NDP will invest in New Brunswick’s entrepreneurs, small businesses and municipalities.

The NDP will create jobs by introducing a New Jobs Tax Credit to reward companies that create new jobs. This tax credit will be available to any employer who creates a new job: no politics, no complicated bureaucracy.

The New Jobs Tax Credit will work. Six of the 10 U.S. states with the lowest unemployment rates used a jobs tax credit to jump-start their economies. New Brunswick economists predict that the NDP New Jobs Tax Credit will create between 15,000 and 20,000 jobs within four years.

We will build on our resource economy, but we will also look to tourism, the arts, and non-profits to create new economic opportunities that have long been ignored. The NDP will create jobs and get the economy back on the right track.

Rosaire L’Italien is the leader of the provincial New Democratic Party.

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