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Green Party leader David Coon speaks in the legislature on Oct. 20, 2023. Image: Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick video capture

Green Party leader responds to throne speech

By Brad Perry Oct 23, 2023 | 6:40 AM

New Brunswick’s Green Party leader says he has been left puzzled by the Higgs government’s throne speech.

David Coon delivered his party’s reply to the speech from the throne in the legislature on Friday.

Coon said the speech focused mainly on the government’s past rather than the future.

“The throne speech is supposed to be an opportunity for a government to outline its vision and priorities for the people of New Brunswick in the coming year,” said Coon.

“Looking at past throne speeches, there’s been a devolution in substance and content over the years to the point where they became more full of spin and less full of suds.”

Much of the hour-long speech on Tuesday focused on the government’s accomplishments and offered little in the way of new commitments.

It pointed to some of the challenges facing New Brunswick: addictions and mental health, access to health care and housing, and rising costs of living.

But Coon said there were no bold initiatives to help address those problems, which he said New Brunswickers wanted to see.

“A high cost of rent is actually driving New Brunswickers now into homelessness, but the premier won’t re-institute the rent cap, according to this speech from the throne, that he ripped away from tenants at the end of 2022,” he said.

The speech also failed to offer any improvements to health care, senior care and child care, said Coon.

The Green party leader said it also failed to describe how the premier plans to reconcile with Indigenous people or tackle systemic racism.