Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers hopes that next week’s Speech from the throne acknowledges all the broken promises from the Higgs’ government first throne speech, delivered a year ago.
“The Higgs government made some very ambitious and very specific promises to New Brunswickers in its first throne speech,” Vickers said. “For a premier who likes to talk about accountability and results he has failed to deliver on those promises made a year ago, particularly as it relates to health care, the environment and the economy.”
Last year’s throne speech referenced specific actions to reduce wait times, but Vickers pointed out things have not improved on that front, instead they have become worse under the Higgs government watch.
“The health authorities confirmed before a committee of legislature we are moving in the wrong direction on wait times. The first throne speech also promised more nurses, better home care for seniors, and more resources for mental health. There’s no indication we’ve improved in any of those areas.”
Similarly, promises made to help the economy in the last throne speech have not materialized.
“Lower taxes, more research-based and green-economy jobs, a new tourism strategy, all promised in the last throne speech, nothing delivered,” Vickers added. “This government seems particularly lost on how to grow the economy. We are not keeping pace with other provinces on job creation. Economic growth is the best way to generate revenue for government to deliver better services to New Brunswickers.”
The environment is another area where the Higgs government has failed New Brunswickers.
“I’ve made the environment and climate change a priority for the Liberal party, and this is something that’s clearly not a priority for Mr. Higgs. The one promise he should have broken in last year’s throne speech was joining western provinces in fighting carbon pricing. He needs to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on this costly fight now, and focus on addressing climate change. The premier should focus on what New Brunswickers want, not on what Doug Ford and Jason Kenney want.”
Vickers did point to promises broken that would have helped the environment.
“They promised an all-party committee on carbon emissions and glyphosate, and they couldn’t get that done in a year. They also promised a legislative officer for science and climate change, but nothing happened there either.”
Vickers reminded Higgs of his words in closing the throne speech debate almost a year ago.
“The premier said at the time, and I quote ‘we expect to be held to account on the challenges laid out in this throne speech.’ He also said ‘the best way to restore faith in government is to get better results.’ We think the premier needs to explain, in the interest of accountability, why he didn’t do what he promised in last year’s throne speech. We also are waiting for better results in areas such as health care, the economy and the environment.”