Member’s Statement: Where is the Hope? – December 4, 2015

Mr. Speaker, this week I had the pleasure to sit down with some of the student leaders in this province to discuss their vision for our Post-Secondary Education System. I know many of my fellow members had the same opportunity. These students had many excellent ideas, and hope they are taken seriously as this government begins preparing its budget. However I was struck by the opening sentence of their report. They write: “New Brunswick now finds itself nearing the brink of economic and demographic collapse.”

There is despair in that sentence that strikes me.

Why do these young leaders paint such a bleak picture of our province? Yes, we face challenges, but have we failed to reassure them of the strengths and opportunities that exist for New Brunswick today? Have we failed to give them hope for the future? Clean tech, green construction, renewable energy are all growing sectors of the New Brunswick economy that we can build on today. I look forward to observing what other jurisdictions are doing to spur growth in these areas at COP21 when I am in Paris next week.