Category: New Brunswick Politics

Ford and Higgs shatter short-lived calm on the unity front

Just last month many political watchers were cheered by the belief that the country’s unity was in the best shape it has been in years. The source of the optimism was the Quebec provincial election campaign. For the first time in about half a century, separatism was not an issue in the election and better yet, federalist parties finished one-two in the voting. But if, as the saying goes, a week in politics is a long time, six weeks is an epoch. The happy thought that French-English relations are in a better place in Canada has been dispelled. Doug...

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New Brunswick election produces bountiful harvest of story lines

For a place that’s usually ignored, New Brunswick received plenty of attention for last week’s election result. With the two main parties practically tied and two diametrically different smaller parties potentially holding the balance of power, the drive-through province is looking very European, where hung parliaments are routine. The who’s-on-first scenario is a political science dweeb’s delight, with several acts to follow. But in the meantime, there were other intriguing story lines emerging from the election. Penetrating the Red Wall Nearly everyone was quick to note that the election marked the first successful foray against Prince Justin’s Atlantic Canada...

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Regional political strategy lurks between the lines of the Federal budget

For the second year in a row the federal budget barely survived a full news cycle before attention shifted elsewhere. Finance Minister Morneau hit the road to discuss how the budget will give every Canadian “a real and fair chance at success” – hopefully consigning “the middle class and those working hard to join it” to the space in history’s waste bin reserved for grating slogans. Meanwhile, the national media switched to Trump’s trade tantrums and the Nova Scotia news was all about the weather and the McNeil cabinet’s hostile takeover of the education system. But beyond timid gestures...

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Book lays out hard truths about region’s plight

The book has been around for a while but Richard Saillant’s A Tale of Two Countries takes on fresh relevance in the wake of those unfortunate health side deals signed last month by three of the four Atlantic provinces. Saillant, director of the Donald J. Savoie Institute at the University of Moncton, exposes what he calls The Great Demographic Imbalance looming over the country. His book, which came out from Nimbus Publishing about six months ago, details the dire effect this region’s aging baby boom generation will have both on our costs of social services and our economy’s capacity to pay...

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New Brunswick doubles down on failed recipe

New Brunswick is once again playing the role of guinea pig for neocon-inspired experimentation on the Maritime body politic. With last week’s budget, highlighted by further cuts to the public sector and talk of out-sourcing government services, our northern neighbor continued a tradition started a quarter century ago by Premier Frank McKenna of applying the bromides of the conservative think tanks to address New Brunswick’s economic ills. McKenna’s approach was to lecture New Brunswickers about shedding government dependency and pulling themselves up by the bootstraps, while he begged big business to set up call centres and the like. When...

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Richard Starr, The man behind the Point

About Richard

RICHARD STARR has had careers as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and freelance policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, appearing in everything from Atlantic Insight to Atlantic Progress. A lifelong student of Maritime history, Starr is married to playwright and former MP Wendy Lill. They live in Dartmouth.

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