NEW BRUNSWICK (CBC) – The New Brunswick government’s throne speech in which Premier David Alward said the province is facing a ‘fiscal crisis’ is receiving mixed reviews.
Tom Mann, executive director of the New Brunswick Union, sees a positive side to it. He said Wednesday it’s good news that that the premier has admitted that there is an economic problem, and the government has to deal with it. Mann is also pleased with Alward’s promise to involve taxpayers in whatever action is necessary.
“We can’t rely on the government alone to solve this problem. Different sectors have to work together,” Mann said. “And I think the throne speech is a great launching pad for that. There’s a very strong and clear message.”
Charles Cirtwill, the President and CEO of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, is more critical of the speech because of the lack of details.
He said the government saying its going to address the economic problems is one thing, but outlining details of how it plans to do that is another thing all together.
“They should have been a lot more upfront in terms of laying out some real direction as to how they’re going to start controlling costs going forward how they’re going to tackle the deficit, how they’re going to manage the debt.”
The government said it would meet its obligations under the province’s Fiscal Responsibility and Balanced Budget Act, which requires the government’s books to be balanced by the end of four budget periods starting with the 2011-12 fiscal year.
One omission in the throne speech was how the Alward government is going to implement its plans for a one per cent budget cut to government departments.
Details on that and other cost-saving issues will likely not be known until the government’s first budget is unveiled. That’s not expected until March.