As the fall approaches, it is time for another round of provincial elections. The province is in a tough but still hopeful situation, people throwing around money and making promises that will make them look popular and ruthlessly attacking their opponents.
I’m going to make a list of items that I consider a priority for the next government.
1) Remove the ban from walking down the street with open liquor. There is no real public safety impact here, and littering would be of little impact as the empties will quickly be retrieved.
2) Rename the Saint John River the “Saint John / Wolastoq River”, it would only cost 50ish signs and would make everyone happy. Also, please the indigenous peoples in the area.
3) Within 5 years, eliminate 10 schools. Even if you have to build new modern 20th century buildings.
4) Change legislation to ensure there are no more than 6 levels of management between the minister and the front line staff in every department and agency.
5) Change the way we do municipalities. Naming streets, municipal planning, recreation, transportation, by-laws etc are what makes a community and councils should be limited to those things. Protective services should not be at the municipal level. There should be large regional elected service boards that run protective/regional services.
6) Reduce 10 municipalities. There are too many for the size of the Province.
7) Modernization of the delivery of government services. It is completely ridiculous that you still have to play phone tag with the receptionist to get appointments at the hospital and be called by 3 different departments for the same procedure. Also that your medical information is in silos that don’t allow your doctor to know the whole story, and allow electronic filing of prescriptions so you are not given conflicting drugs, and reduce the addictions.
8) Be ambitious and strive to have Bilingualism as a requirement of Graduation for all students of New Brunswick. “switching between two or more languages gives the brain a dexterousness and improves our attention, planning, memory and problem-solving skills.” (Irish Times, 27 March 2018)