The COVID Cabinet Committee resumed its work following the September provincial election. Unique in Canada, New Brunswick’s all party COVID Cabinet Committee collectively makes recommendations regarding New Brunswick’s response to this pandemic, based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Department of Public Safety. These recommendations go to Cabinet, which makes the final decisions. So far, it seems to have worked very well and stands as an example of how good decisions are made when all parties work together in good faith.
The committee is made up of the leaders from each party, including the Premier and all three opposition parties, along with the Ministers of Public Safety, Health, Education andEarly Childhood Development, and Post-Secondary Education and Labour.As this is a committee of Cabinet, myself and the other opposition leaders were sworn in the same way as Cabinet ministers, and we have access to relevant Cabinet documents. However, we cannot speak publicly about the details of what takes place during meetings of the COVID Cabinet Committee.
I am a very active participant, asking many questions, identifying potential gaps, raising issues brought to me by constituents and my caucus members, and proposing actions. New Brunswick and the Atlantic provinces have maintained enviable low numbers of cases of COVID-19. This is due in part to the controls we have placed on our borders with the rest of Canada outside of the Atlantic bubble. It is worth noting that New Brunswick is the only Atlantic province that borders the US and a non-Atlantic province. We monitor the borders and control entry for the entire Atlantic bubble.
While New Brunswick has had a few regional outbreaks that have sadly led to a number of deaths, Public Health, with good cooperation from the public, has contained them before they spread far and wide.Most of New Brunswick has remained in the Yellow public health phase, which enables us to be in close contact with family and friends and ensures churches, barber shops, hair salons, cinemas, theatres, gyms, and yoga studios remain open.
What you share with me about your COVID experience will help me to do the best possible job on the COVID-19 Cabinet Committee.Please plan to attend my Virtual Community Gathering on November 25, 7:30pm. To participate in this Zoom meeting, register here.