New Brunswick Votes

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant promises 10,000 jobs in platform

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant is promising to create 10,000 new jobs by 2018 as he released his party’s full election platform on Monday.

'Job creation has to be the number 1 priority of our government,' Brian Gallant says

RAW: Brian Gallant platform

8 years ago
Duration 11:02
Brian Gallant announces the Liberal Party platform.

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant is promising to create 10,000 new jobs by 2018 as he reinforced job creation as his party's top priority on Monday.

“Not only will we take measures to create over 10,000 jobs, we will also refocus government policy to create the conditions for thousands and thousands more,” Gallant said in a statement.

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant released his party's full platform on Monday in Moncton. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
The Liberal leader released his full election campaign platform at 10 a.m. in Moncton.

The Liberal campaign has been promoting its plan for a six-year, $900-million infrastructure program, which would create jobs through building roads and bridges.

Gallant also wants to create a “Family Plan,” that the Liberal leader said would make it easier for people caring for children or parents to return to the labour force.

He also said he would put more money into programs to improve literacy and workforce skills, develop a new Youth Employment Fund and reduce small business taxes as ways to stimulate the economy.

“Job creation has to be the number 1 priority of our government,” Gallant said in a statement.

The Liberals are committing to balance the budget in 2020-21, instead of returning to surplus in 2017-18 as promised by the Progressive Conservatives and other parties.

The Liberals will create a $150-million contingency fund each year to guard against any unforeseen economic downturns. As well, the Liberal leader has promised to find $250 million in savings each year, starting in 2016-17, through a strategic review.

Tax on 'wealthiest'

Wealthy New Brunswickers will also be paying more if the Liberals are elected. Gallant said $30 million in new money will be raised by increasing taxes on "the wealthiest one per cent of New Brunswickers."

Job creation has been a major focus for each of the campaigns in the first half of the election.

The Tories received a shot of good news on Friday when Statistics Canada reported the unemployment rate dropped to 8.7 per cent from 10 per cent.

David Alward’s Progressive Conservatives have focused their campaign on the development of a shale gas industry and other natural resource initiatives, such as the new Crown forest deals.

The NDP have promised to scrap corporate welfare, eliminate the small business tax rate and put in place a New Jobs Tax Credit to bolster the economy.

The Greens want to create a Community Economic Development Investment Fund to help create jobs and the People’s Alliance wants to fold Invest NB into the Department of Economic Development and then use Invest NB as a venture capital fund.

Shale gas moratorium

Many of the platform planks included in the "Moving New Brunswick Forward" document have been regular staples in Gallant's stump speeches throughout the campaign.

The policies on health care, infrastructure, fisheries and early French immersion have already been announced.

The Liberal platform also outlined in greater detail the party's position on shale gas exploration and development. The Progressive Conservatives have repeatedly criticized the Liberals over the party's stance on the controversial industry.

Gallant's platform repeats how a moratorium will be imposed on the industry and any decision to permit hydraulic-fracturing, which is also known as hydro-fracking, would have to be based on scientific evidence and follow recommendations from the chief medical officer of health.

The Liberals say development of the industry will not be permitted unless there are "extensive public consultations," and other steps are taken to ensure a better royalty regime is put in place and there are no unacceptable risks to the environment.

A shale gas moratorium was criticized as a "lazy" policy option in a special op-ed written for CBC News by David McLaughlin, the former chief executive officer of the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.

Preferential ballots, online voting to be studied

The Liberals also outlined a series of proposals geared to creating a more effective legislature. 

Gallant's platform calls for a study on the use of a preferential ballot and online voting.

The former Bernard Lord government appointed a Commission on Legislative Democracy that recommended many changes, such as a referendum on a type of proportional representation. 

Lord's Tories were defeated before the referendum could be held and the idea was killed by Shawn Graham's Liberal government.

Gallant said he would also like to examine public disclosure of spending and donations, as well as limits, for municipal elections.

The Liberals are also calling for more transparency around posting MLA expenses online and providing non-partisan research services to MLAs.

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