June 1, 2022

Premier Higgs: We cannot meet our needs!

According to Statistics Canada and as reported in the French-language and English-language media, New Brunswick had the second-highest inflation rate in Canada last month. Rent, groceries, electricity bills, telephone, internet…cost of living is increasing yet salaries and financial support remain low. As political parties debate in Fredericton, people living in poverty, low-income workers, families, people with disabilities, youth and seniors cannot meet their needs. In addition, more people have visited food banks in the last few months. 

The government indicates it wants to help the population. Here are some suggestions from the Common Front for Social Justice: 

  • Concrete and immediate measures for people who are the most in need (e.g. direct funding to families and low-income workers).
  • Free access to public transit and provincial parks.
  • Development of a free and rural transit system accessible for people with disabilities.
  • Increase the minimum wage to a living wage, an average of $20/h.
  • Add 10 employer-paid annual sick days to the Employment Standards Act.
  • Raise the basic rate for social assistance, ensure that it reflects a living wage and is adjusted accordingly every year.
  • Axe the Household Income Policy for all social assistance recipients.
  • Immediately increase investments in public services (health, social services, education, social and co-op housing).  

One only needs political will, Premier Higgs. We cannot wait any longer. It is time to invest in the population and communities so that everyone can live healthy lives without having to make ends meet at the end of the month, working conditions are improved for all workers, and public services are free and accessible without any discrimination. 

The Common Front is aware that you are preparing to announce financial relief measures. We hope you will take our recommendations seriously, and we will analyze the announcement accordingly.

Janelle LeBlanc, Provincial Coordinator