#NBpoli: Strategic Program Review Submission

A copy of my submission to New Brunswick's Strategic Program Review Secretariat. Submit yours here!

Question 1: What does a thriving New Brunswick look like to you 10 years from now?
Universal childcare.
Non-profit dental care.
Guaranteed basic income.
Province-wide commuter rail network.
Growth in agriculture, wine, beer, and spirits production and export.
An updated sex education curriculum parallel with Ontario's most recent revisions. (Please much sooner than a decade...)
Massive upgrades to public transit systems in Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John.
Reductions in student tuition fees for post-secondary education.

Question 2: Thinking of all the things government spends money on to provide the residents of New Brunswick with services, what are three things that you think government could stop doing to save money? 

1. The government of New Brunswick can decriminalize marijuana by compelling police officers in the province of New Brunswick to stop enforcing marijuana prohibition laws. The province would reduce policing and judiciary costs and stimulate tourism.

2. Stop subsidizing the fishing industry. It's not a growth industry; if fisheries can't survive on their own, let them fail. The culture of making a living from small scale fishing hasn't been economically realistic for decades.

3. Re-purpose underused rural hospitals and schools. My support of this measure is contingent on two factors.
1)The centralization of these services must be accompanied by a regional transit plan so that rural citizens are equally capable of studying and accessing health services as New Brunswick's urban citizens.
2) Underused rural hospitals be re-purposed into community health centers staffed with nurse practitioners, nutritionists, social workers, and counselors to provide non-urgent public health services.

Question 3: With all of the financial challenges facing our province, what three things do you think government could do to raise money?

1. Establish a carbon tax. Carbon taxes are the smartest way to generate revenue and shape our industries for the future. Carbon revenue is largely responsible for getting BC back into surplus budgeting.

2. Toll highways. For better or worse, many people see New Brunswick as a "drive-thru" province en route to PEI or NS. We might as well make money off them. The dollar plunged meaning more US tourists can be expected to travel our roads. Further, the downward trend in gas prices, means that drivers have a few 'driving dollars' subconsciously budgeted that can be diverted to tolls without much notice.

3. Set the HST back to 15%. It's the a surest way to generate revenue and end the structural deficit. It's also easier day-to-day math on purchases. We phased out the penny, so prices just ring up better with a round 15% tax.