Reality Check: The Province Awakens
The people of New Brunswick have been told that we have to cut between $500 and $600 million from the provincial budget. We have been presented with a series of choices to get there. We’ve also been told by various news outlets and interest groups that our public sector is top heavy, our schools have too many teachers, and our health care budget is ballooning out of control.
I would like to set the record straight. Consider this a reality check:
- 20% of jobs in New Brunswick are public service jobs, the 4th smallest public service in Canada.
- NB has 85 public sector employees per 1000 people which is right on par with the national average.
- NB isexactly middle of the pack in terms of per student funding in our education system.
- NB health care spending is fifth out of ten provinces at $6,352 per person.
- Both Nova Scotia and Manitoba spend a higher percentage of their budget on health care.
- The portion of our revenues spent financing our debt is less than what 6 other provinces pay.
It is important that New Brunswick balance its budget, but the people of this province need to have the full picture. David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick has said that the deficit could be taken care of by asking the corporate sector to pay its fair share. Putting fair prices on our natural resources and reducing corporate hand-outs could save hundreds of millions.