People's Alliance platform promises tax, language law reform

The People's Alliance Party has released its election platform, with promises ranging from tax reform to animal protection to the elimination of language duality in government services.

The party’s promises range from tax reform to animal protection

Kris Austin said his party will end language duality in government services if elected. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

The People's Alliance Party has released its election platform, with promises ranging from tax reform to animal protection to the elimination of language duality in government services.

About a dozen people gathered at a printing shop in Riverview, where party leader Kris Austin unveiled the platform Tuesday afternoon.

"We will eliminate the small business tax, giving small business the opportunity to keep more money in their pocket," said Austin.

The party's plan is to make up for the tax cut by eliminating "corporate handouts," and with efficiencies and savings found by the auditor general.

Austin said he would give the office of the auditor general, Kim MacPherson an extra $2 million a year for a thorough look at government books.

"She's already highly underfunded and understaffed," he said. 

'An end to duality'

The platform document also calls for "ending over 40 years of language debate by adopting a policy based on common sense, logic, and the realities in New Brunswick." 

"We haven't called for a reduction of duality, we've called for an end to duality," said Austin.

The party platform calls instead for "bilingual hiring requirements on demographics (where numbers warrant.)"

It also calls for the removal of the language commissioner's office, one provincial health authority, and no separate school buses for students.  

"There is no reason we need French and English school buses chasing each other around the province on the taxpayer's dime, that's foolishness," said Austin.

Austin delivered the party platform in Riverview to about a dozen supporters. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

He said he respects the rights of both linguistic communities, but shrugged off concerns about a person's constitutional right to receive services in their official language of choice.

"I guess that's up to people if they choose to challenge us in court," said Austin. "We're very confident in our approach."

Short on environmental specifics

The People's Alliance said it would stop all glyphosate spraying on crown land, and oppose the carbon tax, but in the party's 16-page platform document, there was no plank dedicated to the environment.

"Climate change is something we're all well aware," said Austin. "We would continue to support the current programs and initiatives there, at least the ones that are working."

But he didn't list any specific programs other than, "energy efficiency within government programs."

The programs that work would be determined by the auditor general.

The People's Alliance was formed in 2010, and has never held a seat in the legislature.

About the Author

Tori Weldon

Reporter

Tori Weldon is a reporter based in Moncton. She's been working for the CBC since 2008.