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Summary of Community Gatherings Fall 2023

by Taeyon

The Fall 2023 Community Gatherings were held from October 2023-November 2023. MLA David Coon and the four city councilors, Greg Ericson for Skyline Acres, Ruth Breen for the Hill, Jason LeJeune for the East Plat and College Hill, and Cassandra LeBlanc for the West Plat and Sunshine Gardens, hosted a series of four community gatherings for their mutual constituents.

The reports from the MLA and City Councilors, which started off each gathering; and the open floor Q&A are summarized below. More detailed notes from each of the community gatherings can be found on the Green Caucus website here.

Report from David: The Legislative session has begun with ten government bills; the Greens are going to introduce a bill for a right to a clean environment. On the government’s agenda is a revamping of the Long Term Care Legislation, Adult Protection, and a new Accessibility Act.
The Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital is nearing the completion of its new wing, with a new ICU and Labour and Delivery suites opened, and new surgical suites to open soon. However, the government is stalling the installation of hybrid surgical technology for the new suites, despite everything having been approved. David identified that one of the key problems with the hospital is that management is centralized in Horizon rather than locally; this is a barrier to improving the hospital and ER situation. He will work to bring management back to local hospitals so decisions and solutions can be implemented quickly.
The new Healthlink system is slowly replacing the old Patient Connect waitlist for those without primary healthcare physicians. People are being transferred individually with phone calls. The process should be done by the end of the year. If people have not received this call by then, they should contact David’s Constituency Office.
A new Out of the Cold Drop-in Hub will be opening soon in Fredericton, location to-be-announced.
Waiting to see what the new NB Housing Corporation will look like and do.

Report from the City Councilors: The city is going to engage in public consultation for a new Recreation Master Plan; new Zoning rules for the plat to increase density; and a new Secondary Plan for the Town Plat.
The city’s new budget is set and some key elements are a new Sunday transit service; new money to encourage more affordable housing; Community Security Service will become permanent; more police; new recycling program and a pilot composting program.

During the Open Floor Session, the following topics were brought up by residents:

Skyline Acres (for the complete notes click here)
– Concern over Kimble Drive and Willow Valley intersection due to the new development that will significantly increase traffic. No lights are currently at this intersection and it is already beyond its capacity for the current traffic.
– Concern over possible breakdown of the regional funding for the Aquatics Centre.
– Active Transportation Pedway: what are the next steps to get budget approval?
– Concern about trail crossing on the highway and speed limits.
– Flooding in Skyline, especially near the highway berm.
– Increased taxes from increased property values: what is the long term vision for the city?
– Liverpool School replacement status.
– Gloucester and Reading crossing need lighting.

The Hill (for the complete notes click here)
– Walk-in Clinics
– Delay in approved developments
– Dead trees
– NB Power misusing money to fund new energy projects, not in their mandate (SMR)
– Private sale of Cannabis not following rules
– Glass Recycling
– NBEX and Greenbelt plan
– Rent control and affordable housing
– Flooding in Kings College, and corners of Mitchell and Squires, and Regent and Montgomery.
– Rezoning changes

East Plat and College Hill (for the complete notes click here)
– Surgical backlog, and Sunday surgery
– Rent bank
– Substandard housing on College Hill
– Noticeable improvement to College Hill situation
– Increase in homelessness
– Sunday transit and affordable transit
– Riding boundary changes
– Citizen engagement on climate change

West Plat and Sunshine Gardens (for the complete notes click here)
– Better walkable sidewalks needed in winter
– Better protection of secondary plans
– Concern about Colpitts Development next to NB liquor and Sobeys
– In-fill development possibilities in decrepit business districts?
– Housing crisis and the need for density
– Poor transit, hard to understand transit plan and app.