2018-08-21- We Choose Growth Campaign Asks Parties to Commit to 10 Growth Enabling Policy

Fredericton, NB ​(21 August ​2018) – On 19 March 2018, an alliance of New Brunswick business organizations launched the “We Choose Growth” pre-election platform. The groups are the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Le Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton, the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce, the New Brunswick Business Council and the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce.

We Choose Growth is based on five pillars to enable private-sector growth and prosperity for all New Brunswickers. Since releasing the platform, the alliance has met with each political party in New Brunswick to discuss the pillars and earlier this month launched a website that has already attracted over 60 endorsements by New Brunswick businesses and organizations.

“The enthusiasm for the platform and its five pillars within the business community and beyond has been phenomenal – far exceeding our expectations,” said ​Adrienne O’Pray, CEO, New Brunswick Business Council​. “With the campaign set to officially begin this week, I expect that We Choose Growth will continue to gain traction as New Brunswickers turn their attention to the election in September.”

Now with the election a month away, the members of We Choose Growth are providing each of the political parties with a list of achievable objectives to get New Brunswick started down a road to growth and collective prosperity. 

“With the addition of these specific, actionable priorities, our alliance will be using the We Choose Growth objectives well beyond the election to ensure that government maintains an extended focus on growing the economy and reducing the debt – otherwise New Brunswick isn’t a sustainable province,” added Krista Ross, CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce. “We are looking for a sustained commitment to growth from the provincial government, not campaign promises that are quickly forgotten.”

Using the We Choose Growth framework, parties are being asked to demonstrate leadership and commit to the following 10 objectives:

Private Sector Driven Economy

  1. Accept the recommendations of the WorkSafeNB Task Force Report and act upon them in the first sitting of the Fall legislature;
  2. Create a competitive environment for business by adopting APEC’s recommendation for a Pan-Atlantic Regulatory Framework and develop an Atlantic Canadian Roadmap for the next 10 years to harmonize or mutually recognize regulations across the region.

Responsible Natural Resource Development

  1. ​Identify current, emerging and potential energy sectors with growth potential and include as objectives in the province’s growth plan​;
  2. Within one year define a regulatory review process that aligns governmental and inter-departmental requirements to create efficiencies and provide predictable, timely and reliable outcomes for industry.

Export Focused Economy

  1. Continue to assist New Brunswick companies diversify into export markets and create in-market support resources in key export markets;
  2. Encourage expansion of value-add products and services to increase the value of exports to the local economy with incentives such as investment tax credits for exporting companies.

Labour Force Development

  1. Provide international students with residency status and remove the work experience requirement to increase the ability to attract and retain international students;
  2. Grant post-graduate work permits to international students attending private career colleges to increase attraction and retention to grow our workforce and expand business.

Responsible Fiscal Management

  1. Balance the provincial budget by 2019 and release a four-year comprehensive debt and deficit management strategy with clear, transparent timelines and metrics;
  2. Conduct a comprehensive tax review with the objectives of improving fairness, reducing taxes and costs of operating a business in New Brunswick.

“Not only are these achievable goals, they are necessary policy decisions if our next government is truly serious about choosing growth for New Brunswick,” added ​David Duplisea, CEO, Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce.​ “Our alliance and all of the supporters of We Choose Growth are feeling the urgency needed to transform the province’s economy – we hope the next government feels the same way.”

The We Choose Growth platform and list of supporters can be found at ​www.WeChooseGrowth.ca​.

For more information: 

Krista Ross ​kristar@frederictonchamber.ca 
Fredericton Chamber of Commerce

Sheri Somerville ​sheri@atlanticchamber.ca 
Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

Thomas Raffy ​thomas@cenb.com
Conseil économique du Nouveau Brunswick

John Wishart ​jwishart@gmcc.nb.ca
Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton

Adrienne O’Pray ​adrienne.opray@nbbc-cenb.ca
New Brunswick Business Council

David Duplisea ​dduplisea@thechambersj.com
Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce