A re-elected Liberal Government will ban the use of disposable plastic shopping bags in New Brunswick retail stores. The Liberals would also seek to use this opportunity to create a new agricultural industry.
Plastic bags have already been banned in Australia, France, Italy and the U.S. state of California. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island (scheduled for July 2019) would be the first Canadian provinces with a complete ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in retail stores.
A re-elected Liberal Government will also work with the New Brunswick agriculture and manufacturing sectors to explore the possibility of building an industry of producing hemp-based bags to replace plastic shopping bags. With an international trend to ban single-use plastic shopping bags, a market will soon emerge in which New Brunswick could have first mover advantage.
In 2016, following an extensive multi-partisan public consultation process, the Gallant Government introduced a climate change plan with over 100 action items which take significant steps to protect the environment without adding any new costs for consumers. This includes the introduction of the Climate Change Act; investments in energy efficiency in hospitals, schools, and homes; the development of plans to phase out coal in New Brunswick; the establishment of a made-in-New Brunswick price on carbon that places consumers ahead of big industry; the establishment of a Climate Change Fund; climate change adaptation planning; and investments in new technologies that reduce pollution, such as smart grid and
renewable electricity. Additionally, the Gallant government has submitted its full climate plan and rationale to the federal government.
A re-elected Liberal Government will continue to take steps to ensure that New Brunswick embraces the clean technologies and green jobs of tomorrow while helping New Brunswick households to become more energy efficient. We have an obligation to future generations to reduce pollution. The absence of any clean energy plan from Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives would make it certain that New Brunswick, under a Higgs Government, would miss out on these opportunities to build a greener future and would fail to meet our obligation to our children and grandchildren to combat climate change.
A re-elected Liberal government will also ensure a power rate freeze for residential and small business customers.