Mr. Speaker, the three largest metropolitan areas in New Brunswick now contain more than half of the province’s population.
Mr. Speaker, if we are committed to advancing the development of our province, we must develop supportive public policies for both metropolitan and truly rural regions. This would be helped by a reorganization of government departments to create the institutional capacity to explicitly focus on urban and rural development, neither of which seem to be priorities at the present moment.
Mr. Speaker, this requires a shift away from focusing development activities on business enterprise to our communities, both urban and rural, within which business enterprises can thrive.
As a start, the Regional Service Commissions could be divided, so that we have truly Metropolitan Commissions anchored by our cities and encompassing the surrounding bedroom communities, and that we create truly Rural Commissions anchored in rural communities dependent on rural economic activity. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Member’s Statement – Urban and Rural Development
David Coon, MLA, Fredericton South
Leader of the Green Party
Tuesday, February 17, 2015