Member’s Statement: The Omnibus Bill, 30 March 2016

Mr. Speaker, last night I read this government’s omnibus bill. It eliminates two Crown Corporations, transfers public property and public employees to a private corporation, it fundamentally alters the arbitration process in the Industrial Relations Act and the Public Service Relations Act to favour the employer. It amends the Highways Act, the Limitations of Actions Act, the NB Liquor Control Act and the Opportunities New Brunswick Act. It eliminates two licensing boards and two appeal boards, transferring responsibilities to a minister. It consolidates three other appeal boards into one. And it consolidates two funding boards into one for fishermen, aquaculturists and farmers.

Jamming 15 pieces of legislation together in this way is undemocratic. Firefighters and police officers are furious about the changes this makes to labour laws without consultation, breaking the longstanding agreement that saw them give up their right to strike. This omnibus bill must be referred to the law amendments committee to receive the proper public consultation and examination it requires.