MONCTON-Premier David Alward today detailed his position as the only leader with a clear plan to bring New Brunswick workers home to build their lives near their families and in their communities.
Alward said this election is a clear choice between pursuing the jobs and public revenues created by shale gas and natural resource development in New Brunswick and the other choice of doing nothing while workers leave the province to pursue the very same jobs in Western Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Alward plan for job creation through shale gas and natural resource development will generate $10 billion in private sector investment.
“New Brunswickers are facing a clear choice between becoming a ‘have’ province where our communities and families can grow here at home, or watching our people leave to work in the very same industries we can say ‘yes’ to here.”
He noted the thirteen charter flights that leave Moncton each week to bring skilled workers to jobs in oil and gas sectors, as well as the unknown number of workers flying commercially. He said too many New Brunswickers are forced to buy one-way tickets.
“New Brunswickers can choose a tomorrow that looks a lot like what more and more New Brunswick families have come to know today. It’s a future where young children learn the ritual of waving goodbye to a parent at the airport before they have learned their ABCs,” said Alward.
“I don’t think that’s good enough. That is why I am saying ‘yes’ to keeping our families together and building communities that are strong in a province that can determine its own future. I’m saying ‘yes’ to shale gas and natural resource development.”
There are currently about 22,000 New Brunswickers working outside the province in natural resource industries, and he said the impact is even bigger on communities and local businesses.
Alward said that number will continue to grow if the province does not say yes to shale gas and natural resource development.
Alward cautioned that his opponents’ moratorium on shale gas exploration would result in significant tax increases in order to maintain the current level of service that is provided today in vital sectors such as health, education, and senior care.
“I believe it is irresponsible to not do all we can to provide our children and future generations with the same opportunities to grow and prosper as we have had here at home,” said Alward.
“The province our parents, grandparents and ancestors worked so hard to build is at risk today if we don’t say ‘yes’ to a future where our people can go to work without booking a flight.”