As we continue to work together to fight COVID-19 here in New Brunswick the public health crisis is starting to have a significant impact on businesses and people who are losing their jobs as a result of this impact.
For example it’s estimated that more than 20,000 New Brunswickers work in the retail, restaurant and bar industry. The vast majority of these people are now out of work and many of them live paycheque to paycheque.
Similarly businesses and those who are self-employed are facing uncertainty on things such as how to make payments without any incoming revenue.
The primary concern is the health and safety of New Brunswickers and we thank those in the private sector for stepping up, heeding the advice of public health officials and in many cases going above and beyond to help fight COVID-19.
However, many workers and business owners are worried about how they will make ends meet.
Federally some measures have been announced already, such as the waiving of the waiting period for EI. The federal government is also set to announce a series of programs to support those who have been impacted by the crisis
Provincial governments are also stepping up. PEI has announced $25 million to support businesses hurt by the circumstances they are facing, and the government of Quebec has announced immediate financial aid for those in isolation.
We look forward to the government of New Brunswick stepping up with similar actions. We appreciate the good work the province is doing on the public health front to stem the spread of the virus. At the same time we would like to see measures from the province to help those economically impacted as well. All levels of government have a responsibility to step up and help those who are feeling the economic impact of our current situation.”
Official Opposition critic for Economic Development and Small Business