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Green Caucus calls for Legislature to be called back to provide accountability of government’s COVID response

by Liane
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FREDERICTON – Kevin Arseneau, the Green Caucus house leader and MLA for Kent North, has written to Speaker Bill Oliver requesting that he call the Legislative Assembly back to provide better accountability of the government’s response to the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Legislative Assembly is scheduled to resume meeting on November 2; however, the speaker can recall the Assembly early if it is in the public interest.

“New Brunswick has had more COVID deaths and hospitalizations this month than in any previous month. There are outbreaks in numerous nursing homes. Contact tracing and testing are overwhelmed,” said Arseneau. “To provide for greater oversight of the government’s response to the fourth wave, the Speaker needs to call the Legislative Assembly back, with an option for MLAs to participate virtually, as soon as possible.”

Megan Mitton, the Green Caucus health critic and MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar, says that the government’s lack of action and planning a month ago as cases started to rise led to the fourth wave hitting New Brunswick harder than it otherwise would have.

“Despite the Delta Variant surging in other areas with similar vaccination rates, the Higgs government was not prepared for any further outbreaks of COVID-19 after the province went to the green phase on July 30,” said Mitton. “Now this tepid response has resulted in us not having the contract tracing or testing capacity to keep up with the rapid spread of the fourth wave.”