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and Responsible Government
“In politics, we learn a lot about how to govern when
we take the time to listen and reach out to people we
are elected to represent. By engaging people who are
most affected we get better solutions.”

David Alward
Message from David Alward
Last fall our Party held a wide-ranging and open debate There are six major elements of government and
on new policies that would form the foundation of our democratic reform including:
next election platform. Throughout the consultation
• Fixing the governance system to include more
process people told us that they wanted common sense voices;
policies and solutions, they wanted a government that
would listen to their concerns, and more importantly,
• Better citizen engagement through voting;

they wanted to be treated with respect and sincerity. • Improving the information available to citizens;
• Shedding more light on our public finances;
I want to lead a New Brunswick where people have
• Increased transparency of decision-making; and
more say over the decisions in their lives, a New
Brunswick where families and communities are
• Creating a reasonable compensation package for
stronger, and a New Brunswick where people will gain
further responsibility for shaping our future together. I welcome and encourage your feedback as we
continue to discuss these and other ideas over the
In the pages that follow I will share my vision for Citizen coming months.
Engagement and Responsible Government in the
Province of New Brunswick. I commit that if elected Sincerely
Premier, I will begin introducing these
reforms immediately.

David Alward
More Inclusive and Democratic Governance
Introduction A new PC Government will:
We need to do more to put people at the heart of • Propose new ways of making the People’s House
decision-making in this province. This means including more collaborative, such as allowing third parties to
pose questions to Ministers, to have a voice through
under-represented groups in our institutions, ensuring
committee participation, and including all parties in
that political voices are heard so they don’t feel shut out major initiatives.
of the process, and making the Legislative Assembly
• Ensure that First Nations people have a true partner
more relevant and meaningful, not only at election time, in government, by having the Premier take on direct
but all of the time. responsibility for Aboriginal Affairs.

Progressive Conservatives believe in a governance • Empower civil servants to have greater decision-
making authority and input, support front-line
model that is both collaborative and engaging. It must
workers, and ensure that their ideas are heard
be accountable and transparent. But more importantly, and recognized.
our governance model must keep up with the times,
• Introduce evaluation mechanisms for any new
and be representative of the people it serves. programs introduced in order to give tools to civil
servants to determine the effectiveness of the
service the public receives.
• Make amendments to government bills “free votes.” • Work together on new volunteer-friendly laws and
• Extend the number of hours allocated to debating regulations.
the budget from 80 to 120. • Work with curriculum experts and stakeholders to
• Amend the process by which regulations are ensure that civics education in our schools has a
approved by Cabinet, ensuring that time is allowed strong component on citizen engagement and the
for public input and suggestions. role of responsible government.

• Support our non-profit and community • Introduce a new community volunteer service
organizations through capacity building, training requirement to receive a New Brunswick High
& development, and measures to address funding School diploma.
Improving the Information Shared With
New Brunswickers
Introduction A new PC Government will:
It should not be difficult for people to engage with their • Remove fees associated with Right to Information
government. Unfortunately the system forces those who Requests.
want to obtain information to jump through a number • Make more documents and statements available
of hoops and in some cases spend hundreds of dollars. online.
We need to make the process simpler, more efficient and • Create a new Citizen Engagement Unit within
pro-active. the Executive Council Office, reporting directly to
the Premier.
Citizen engagement is too important to simply be the • Create a culture of engagement within all
responsibility of one Minister – it is the responsibility of government departments.
all Ministers, in fact, it is the responsibility of everyone • Mandate every department and agency of
within government. government to hold a minimum of two public town
hall meetings every year as well as two roundtables
Progressive Conservatives believe we can and should per year with stakeholder groups.
do more to bring more New Brunswickers into the • Hold public Cabinet meetings at locations around
political process by reforming how information is shared. the province on a quarterly basis.
Furthermore, government should improve use of online • Make the rationale for final recommendations on
technologies to proactively seek out the will of the people. funding private companies through Business New
Brunswick open and accessible for all future lending
and funding decisions.
Improving Citizen Engagement Through Voting

Introduction A new PC Government will:

The cornerstone of our democratic system is the ability • Create a permanent New Brunswick Referendum
of citizens to freely express their opinions at the ballot Act to give citizens and governments the tools they
need to address fundamental democratic issues.
box. Over the past four years we have seen a number
of opportunities to engage New Brunswickers through • Introduce legislation requiring any MLA who wants
to cross the floor to either sit as an independent or
voting tossed aside because of political expediency and
run in a by-election.
• Reinstate elected members to the Regional Health
Progressive Conservatives believe that New Authority Boards.
Brunswickers are capable of making decisions for • Provide for greater empowerment of local
themselves, and should be given the opportunity communities in organizations like District
to decide how government should respond to Education Councils, Community Economic
Development Agencies, as well as the new Social
major challenges.
Inclusion Networks.
More Open and Transparent Government
Introduction • Make the results of tendering decisions more
transparent by changing the way the final contracts
There have been far too many examples of questionable are publicized and communicated.
deal making behind closed doors over the past four years.
• Expand the current online requests for nominations
Losing taxpayer money on a golf course, buying a new to provincial agencies, boards and commissions to
luxury airplane, putting a well-known, paid lobbyist in include more organizations.
charge of the government’s agenda. All are examples that • Actively engage with important stakeholder groups
make New Brunswickers ask the question, who’s interests such as the Advisory Council on the Status of Women,
are being served? Council on the Status of Disabled Persons, and the First
Nations of New Brunswick to enhance the inclusiveness
Progressive Conservatives believe that the people of of our government’s decision-making authorities.
New Brunswick deserve to know why their government • Create a New Brunswick Lobbyist Registry.
makes certain decisions. New Brunswickers should have
• Adopt legislation requiring Elections New Brunswick
more opportunities to participate in the governance of our to publicize regular electoral finance reports.
province and its institutions. New Brunswickers deserve
• Introduce legislation creating a stand-alone Office of
to know who is being paid to attempt to influence the Child and Youth Advocate.
government decisions.
• Enhance the role of the provincial Ombudsman
providing new powers to oversee senior care in
A new PC Government will: New Brunswick.
• Open up the provincial tendering process and • Adopt legislation making the New Brunswick
improve the rules to put New Brunswick businesses Human Rights Commission an Office of the
and professionals first with a fair chance to bid. Legislative Assembly.
Responsible Management of our Public Finances
Introduction A new PC Government will:
It is shameful how the Shawn Graham Liberals have • Require that the Auditor General produce a special
managed the public purse. They have squandered report on the province’s finances 60 days before
each fixed election date.
away millions of taxpayer dollars on poor investment
decisions and frivolous spending, adding billions to the • Propose new laws to start down the road to
balanced budgets within four years.
province’s debt – and what is worse, we still don’t know
how bad things are. • Increase the frequency of financial reports so that
New Brunswickers can judge our performance.
Progressive Conservatives believe that we must live • Propose new rules on how much the provincial
within our means and that a true accounting of our government can spend in any one year, including a
province’s finances should be published well in advance new legislated cap on total spending that can only
of an election. be exceeded under special circumstances and a
vote with a super-majority of MLAs voting in favour.
More Responsible Compensation
Introduction A new PC Government will:
Justice Ryan said it best in his 2008 report when he said: • Implement the recommendations of the
Independent Panel Reviewing MLA Pension and
“It is essential that civic-minded persons continue Severance Packages.
to be attracted to serve the people of New • Ensure that any MLA who chooses to retire from
Brunswick and that they receive fair and reasonable office, or who accepts a federal or provincial
compensation for their public service. The appointment, or who is at the age of 60 and starts
compensation levels should not be so small that collecting an MLA pension will not be eligible for a
re-establishment allowance.
they discourage qualified candidates from running,
or so generous as to be a major inducement for • Will ensure that the Provincial Cabinet not exceed
15 Ministers plus the Premier.
seeking office.”
• Introduce an immediate ban on all unnecessary
Progressive Conservatives believe that while politicians out-of-province travel by Cabinet Ministers to
should receive reasonable and fair compensation, they cut expenditures by at least 50% over the next
should not be in charge of approving increases to their two years.
own pay and benefits. • Amend conflict of interest rules to ensure there
are no loopholes or ambiguities concerning direct
family members of Cabinet Ministers who are board
members or employees of companies receiving
government funding.

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