Brian Gallant launches 12 regional meetings to focus on economy

Premier Brian Gallant will be meeting with regional leaders in northern New Brunswick today as part of a 12-stop, province-wide tour seeking input on the government's economic growth plan, expected to be released within the next couple of weeks.

Premier is seeking input for his economic growth plan, which is expected to be released within weeks

Premier Brian Gallant described the 12-stop regional tour as 'a bit of a whirlwind.' (CBC)

Premier Brian Gallant will be meeting with regional leaders in northern New Brunswick today as part of a 12-stop, province-wide tour seeking input on the government's economic growth plan, expected to be released within the next couple of weeks.

He has invited municipal council members, local service district advisory committee members and staff from regional service commissions to discuss economic development opportunities, efficient ways to deliver services and how to improve the quality of life for residents.

"These are all community leaders that are trying to make things happen in their regions, that understand what are the concerns and suggestions of their residents," said Gallant.

He expects to hear many of the same issues raised during previous meetings with other groups, such as chambers of commerce, farmers and tech developers, he said.

"People want us to focus on the economy, they want economic growth, they want us to invest strategically in education and they want to have a strong health-care system."

"We believe many of them are going to come forward with infrastructure projects, investments we can make in education, training and post-secondary education" and suggestions on how the government can be "agile to help the business community be able to flourish."

Although local governance reform will likely come up, Gallant said that is not the intended focus of the meetings.

Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle is, however, planning a tour to discuss local governance in the coming months, he said.

The meetings, which could each have as many as 100 participants, will be moderated with time allotted for discussion and questions and answers, he said.

The tentative schedule includes:

  • Tracadie-Sheila, Bathurst and Doaktown on Aug. 16.
  • Richibucto and Irishtown on Aug. 18.
  • Hampton and Saint John on Aug. 19.
  • Fredericton, Florenceville-Bristol and Kedgwick on Aug. 22.
  • Edmundston on Aug. 24.
  • McAdam on Sept. 2.