5 June 2017
Fredericton-Opposition leader Blaine Higgs says the Premier’s property tax scandal just got even worse with the resignation of Justice Joseph Robertson. Robertson’s resignation from a review of the assessment debacle was announced by Environment Minister Serge Rousselle at a Monday press conference.
“The problem-plagued Premier has known about this for a week but the news was held back until he was conveniently unavailable. We have seen this time and again. The Premier handles the photo-ops and the Environment Minister handles the dirty work.”
The review has been taken over by Auditor General Kim Macpherson, who has the powers of the Inquiries Act to compel witnesses and subpoena documents.
“The Auditor General has the power get answers that Justice Robertson did not, but whether the involvement of the Premier will be part of her review is unclear at this point.” Higgs added.
Evidence that the Premier ordered the fast-track of a new assessment system became public after Premier Brian Gallant denied any involvement in the fast-track, leading to Opposition calls for his resignation based upon being untruthful with the people of New Brunswick.
The government also released some information on appeals to property tax assessments on Monday. To date there have been 16,416 appeals.
The government has not released the total number of errors found nor have they been publicizing the revised appeal deadline of August 1st.