Moncton – During the unveiling of his electoral platform this Tuesday afternoon, the New Brunswick Progressive Conservative leader Blaine Higgs promised to cut over $538 million out of public services.
“Higgs will cut front-line workers like licensed practical nurses, park employees, custodians, teachers and more. This is ridiculous, as most sectors are already understaffed and often running on a bare-bones budget,” said Daniel Légère, president of CUPE NB.
For comparison, $538 million represents 42% of the current Education budget ($1258 million), or 2.3 times the current budget of Justice and Public Safety ($231 million).
During the press conference, Higgs also promised to remove 500 public sector jobs every year he would be in power, for a total of 2000 public sector jobs. This represents cutting 13% of all public sector jobs (for a total of 15 000). After the press conference, Higgs’ communication director later “corrected” the PC declaration and said “only 600 jobs” should be cut.
“Last time I checked, our population’s needs did not shrink by 13%,” said Légère. “Higgs’ regressive-conservative vision is against the times and against hard-working families,” he added.
CUPE believes every New Brunswicker – urban or rural, young or old, deserves good public services. We can achieve this through progressive policies that grow our province, not shrink it.