September 29, 2023
Premier Higgs gets failing grades on poverty and healthcare
FREDERICTON – The Blaine Higgs government has received failing grades from poverty experts this week.
Food Banks Canada gave New Brunswick a D-minus in its new Poverty Report Card, saying “the combination of low wages, extreme housing conditions and the lowest social assistance rates in Canada places New Brunswick behind most other provinces in eliminating poverty.”
“While Premier Higgs gloats about his billion-dollar surplus, this report underscores the fact that there are New Brunswickers facing extreme hardship, foregoing groceries, losing their homes and their health,” said Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon. “Premier Higgs has been derelict in his duty to look after the well-being of the most vulnerable New Brunswickers.”
Meanwhile, according to new data released by Statistics Canada, New Brunswick has the highest rates of strokes, heart disease, and diabetes in the country. Many of New Brunswick’s poor health outcomes can be directly tied to poverty as a social determinant of health.
Coon and the Green Party have been long-time advocates of a Guaranteed Livable Income as a means to lift people out of poverty and improve their health and well-being.
“A Guaranteed Livable Income would help people meet their basic needs for healthy food and safe and secure housing. It would bring health and stability by improving the wellbeing of New Brunswickers,” said Coon. “Ensuring that all New Brunswickers can count on a reasonable quality of life, begins by making sure everyone’s basic needs are met.”