Common Front for Social Justice

For Immediate Publication

June 13, 2008.

Real meaningful consultations or a public relations exercise?

‘’We want citizens of the province to have a real opportunity to participate in the public consultations to be held on New Brunswick’s Tax System.’‘ stated Jean-Claude Basque on behalf of the signing organizations

On June 4, 2008, Finance Minister Victor Boudreau tabled a Discussion Paper on New Brunswick’s Tax System in the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. When the minister tabled this paper, he also confirmed that a Special Legislature Committee would tour the province to receive input from New Brunswickers about the proposed changes to the Tax System.

``It is of the upmost importance that all New Brunswickers have sufficient time to fully understand all the different elements in the Discussion document before been asked to give their opinions in front of the Special Legislative Committee that will travel in the province.``

The 63-page document is proposing a series of initiatives designed to reform the New Brunswick Tax System. They include a revision of the personal income tax structure, the implementation of a carbon tax, the reduction of the general corporate income tax rate, the revision of property taxes and the increase of HST. The paper contains a lot of technical information that needs a lot of time to understand it fully and comprehend its various impacts.

Right now, the government is proposing to hold its public consultations in nine (9) localities in seven (7) days starting June 24 and closing July 10.

‘’It is completely unacceptable that public consultations on a major document like this one be started at the beginning of summer when citizens are going on vacation. On behalf of our organizations which represent close to 70,000 members and their families and for the sake of democracy and transparency, we are asking the Shawn Graham government to initiate its consultations in the Fall and not during the summer.’‘

‘’A meaningful public consultation cannot be done in just seven days as planned by the provincial government’‘

Signing Organisations Association acadienne des artistes professionnel.le.s du NB - Carmen Gibbs 852-3313

Association acadienne et francophone des ainées et ainés du NB -Jean-Luc Bélanger 389-23212

Association des bibliothécaires, professeures et professeurs de l'Université de Moncton (ABPPUM), Michèle Caron 863-2124

Canadian Union of Public Employees - NB Division - Danny Légère 869-0424

Coalition pour l’Équité salariale du NB - Huberte Gautreau 382-5911

Comité des 12 - Claude Snow 727-4564

Common Front for Social Justice - Linda McCaustlin

Council of canadians - Moncton Chapter - Anne Lévesque 389-1779

Council of canadians - Tantramar Chapter - Geoff Marin 364-2289

Dames d’Acadie de Dieppe - Jeannette Marcoux

Environnement Vie - Florian Levesque

Fédération des femmes acadiennes et francophones du NB - Nora Saucier

Justice & Solidarity Team - Auréa Cormier 204-1134

Miramichi & District Labour Council, Danny King 622-0636

Moncton & District Labour Council - Honoré Gautreau 855-4263

New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women - Ginette Petitpas-Taylor 1-800-332-3087

New Brunswick Federation of Labour - Michel Boudreau 857-2125

New Brunswick Child Care Coalition - Jody Dallaire 855-8977

New Brunswick Nurses Union - Marilyn Quinn 1-800-442-4914

New Brunswick Union of public and private Employees- Debbie Lacelle 1-800-442-4420

Regroupement féministe du NB - Raphaëlle Valay-Nadeau 852-3313

Saint John and District Labour Council - Ron Oldfield 658-1212

For information- Jean-Claude Basque - 851-7086 or 862-9182