FREDERICTON – Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon says he and his caucus will focus on five priorities when they return to the Legislature next week. These include wait times for medical care and surgeries, housing security for renters, climate action by growing renewable energy supplies, food self-sufficiency, and livable incomes.
“My caucus colleagues and I will propose practical solutions to the housing, healthcare, affordability and climate crises that New Brunswickers are facing,” said Coon. “It is time that the well-being of people, and the environment that sustains us, are put at the heart of government decision-making.”
Many New Brunswickers are struggling with the high cost of living as food prices rise more rapidly than wages and social assistance rates. With this in mind, Coon plans to push for the creation of a guaranteed livable income and call for the minimum wage to increase to a livable wage.
“Liberal and Conservative governments have always strived to keep the minimum wage at a minimum,” said Coon. “We need to get out of that mindset and ensure that all New Brunswickers earn a livable wage or have access to a livable income. It is impossible to meet your basic needs, no matter how frugal you might be on social assistance at the current rates.”
The Green caucus is expecting Premier Higgs to focus heavily on deepening New Brunswick’s dependence on fossil fuels by ending the moratorium on fracking for natural gas.
“People across Canada, and around the world, are losing their lives and livelihoods due to more deadly and more frequent heat waves, floods, wildfires and droughts triggered by the climate breakdown,” said Coon. “We must base our energy security on managing our demand and using renewable sources of energy. It is the only green way forward.”