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Throne speech highlights

The Alward government said it will continue with responsible exploration for shale gas resources during his throne speech, delivered on Tuesday.

Alward government focusing on jobs, economy in year leading to election

Highlights from the 2014 New Brunswick throne speech:

  • Continue ongoing efforts for the responsible exploration and development of shale gas.
  • Launch an expression of interest for potash to promote other potential sites for exploration and mining of potash in New Brunswick.
  • Issue a call for proposals to create up to six New Brunswick innovation research chairs to engage with industry in key sectors of the New Brunswick economy.
  • By summer 2014, the government plans to move forward with a new drug plan to give residents access to many expensive drugs and improve prescription drug coverage for citizens.
  • Introduce legislature to make public service pensions more affordable, fair and sustainable for all public service retirees going forward.
  • Take steps to require political parties to make the cost of election promises clearer.
  • Publicly report on remuneration paid to all medical practitioners, including fee-for-service payments.
  • Starting in 2014, establish a tuition increase cap of no more than three per cent for the next three years for all public universities in the province, except St. Thomas University.
  • Introduce a redesigned student financial assistance program.
  • Introduce amendments to modernize workers compensation to strike a balance between both workers' interests and employers' interests.
  • Expand the original target of 650 post-secondary graduates hired under the One-Job Pledge initiative.
  • Provincial departments and agencies will encourage the use of local, healthy food during government-hosted meetings and events.
  • Consider a plan to establish a new centralized snowmobile trail grooming base at Mount Carleton Provincial Park to spur growth in snowmobile tourism.
  • Research development of a program to increase tourism through an all-terrain vehicle tourism product.
  • Introduce legislation to regulate the mortgage broker industry.
  • Amend unproclaimed legislation aimed at regulating payday loans and create an effective regulatory regime for payday lenders.
  • Reform legal aid so the maximum resources can be directed to clients.
  • Establish a premier's task force on the status of the artist to provide recommendations on improving the socio-economic status of professional artists.
  • Require the auditor general to report on the state of the province's finances 60 days in advance of each fixed election date in the future.