As everyone knows by now, the Sir Max Aitken pool at UNB will stay open for the next 3 years to provide the time needed to plan for a new aquatic centre to serve the greater Fredericton area. The provincial government was convinced at the 11th hour that it should bridge the financial gap that the City and UNB had been unable to close in order to prolong the life of the existing pool.
Congratulations to everyone in our community, young and old, who worked so hard, and organized so effectively, to bring about this solution. It was an amazing collaboration, with everyone doing their part. I look forward to working with all of you in shepherding the development of a new aquatic centre for our region.
Tim Yerxa from the Playhouse and Mike Baldwin from the City made an excellent presentation to our Legislative Administration Committee at the Legislature on the plans for the new performing arts centre. They were seeking input from the Legislature as a near neighbour before the actual design phase begins.
I am pleased to report that my efforts to establish a code of conduct for MLAs has been successful. It took two attempts over 3 years, but in the end, a detailed statement on the roles and responsibilities and code of conduct was passed and added to the Legislature’s Standing Rules here. Now everyone can see what they should expect of their MLAs.
My spring round of community gatherings were well attended. As always, the participation of our City Councilors was much appreciated. There was much discussion about the pool of course, but also about the use and future of the Exhibition Grounds, the need for a walk-in medical clinic downtown, and efforts to establish an active transportation hub and east-west trails uptown.
People raised the Province’s financial situation, questions about how to retain immigrants, proposed a guaranteed minimum income program to fight poverty, support for more protected areas, and interest in the proposed Sisson mine development. To see the reports of the community gatherings, visit DavidCoonMLA.ca and click on constituency reports.
This year’s flood affected many downtown buildings, closing both the Legion and the Art Gallery. The most significant damage in Fredericton South occurred in some homes in the vicinity of Winslow Street. A number of houses were completely cut off by the flood leaving people to get in and out in chest waders, or by kayaks or canoe. When I first visited Winslow, the water in the middle of the street was thigh high. People lost some of their major appliances such as furnaces and washing machines, and sustained damage to their basements. Since then, I have heard from a number of constituents about the damage to their cottages on Grand Lake as well. Fortunately, NB Power did not have to turn off the electricity downtown, though a few residences had to turn off their power or natural gas for safety reasons.
If anyone needs help to navigate any of the assistance measures promised by government, from compensation for damages to property tax relief, please contact me. If I can be of help in any way or if you want to discuss an issue important to you, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call or drop by the constituency office at 133 King St, 455-0936.
Upcoming at the Legislature, I am part of a Select Committee that will be hearing from the universities on how they spend the public funds they receive. The Auditor General will be presenting her Spring report to our Public Accounts Committee, where she will report on provincial jails.
All the best for an enjoyable summer,