New Brunswick’s premier touts province’s economic strengths in address
The premier claimed growth in manufacturing, seafood exports, agriculture and construction.
New Brunswick’s premier touted his government’s achievements on Feb. 9, claiming it has spurred progress in health care, education, energy development and the economy.
Blaine Higgs declared to a crowd at the Fredericton Convention Centre that “New Brunswick is back, in a big way.”
He said national headlines once proclaimed the province was in a “death spiral,” that nothing could save New Brunswick, and it was going over the cliff.
“We are no longer at the edge of the cliff, we are now standing on the cusp of greatness,” Higgs said to applause.
While acknowledging challenges remain, he said the province has made strides in attracting more people and bringing down the average age of the population, while wages have increased and business is expanding.
Population growth is breaking records with the highest numbers since joining Confederation in 1867, he said.
“And for the first time since 1961 our population has gotten younger,” he said. “That’s because 60 per cent of the people we attracted from other provinces are prime working age and they are bringing families.”
He claimed growth in manufacturing, seafood exports, agriculture and construction.
But the premier also said that education, housing and health care remain a test for his Progressive Conservative government.
Green party leader David Coon said the premier is “tone deaf” to the realities faced by people in the province.
“Whether it comes to try to access health care, find accommodations they can afford, or feel like the education system is going to be tranquil for a little while so that their students or children can get the best education that teachers can deliver. No mention of climate change and what they’re doing around that, or the environment,” he said.
“So he asked the question at the end, should he stay or should he go? He should go.”
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