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For Immediate Release
[26 September 2013]

(Fredericton, NB) – The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and Fredericton North Rotary Club co-hosted a luncheon on 26 September 2013 with guest speaker Kevin Lacey, Atlantic Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Lacey gave a presentation titled "Unlocking New Brunswick's Opportunities: A Blueprint for Change." He argued that New Brunswick has many burgeoning opportunities but to take advantage of them, we need our governments to change the way they think about building the province. He emphasized that higher taxes in New Brunswick, especially in comparison to Alberta, were disincentives to businesses and taxpayers to live and work in New Brunswick. This outmigration of skilled workers in turn makes it more difficult to take advantage of the opportunities existing in the province, particularly regarding the energy and natural resource sectors.

Lacey contends that a long succession of governments have not effectively dealt with the politically difficult issues of the increasing costs employment insurance reform and pension reform. He called on taxpayers to not then punish the politicians that do try to take on these issues and get the associated costs under control. When voters react negatively to these decisions, it reinforces the tendency to avoid the topics for fear of political reprisal.

"It's not enough just to say what we are against, it's time to start an honest conversation with New Brunswickers about the problems we face, but also the immense opportunities before us," Lacey stated before the speech.

"At no point is changing the way our government works more important than right now," Lacey added. "Unless we commit ourselves to doing things differently, New Brunswick's high taxes, big deficits and crushing unemployment rate will be here to stay."

Lacey stated that now is the time to end the cycle of high taxes being used to compensate what he sees as uncontrolled spending. He stated that if governments are raising taxes on the premise that it is needed to fight deficits, then there should also be a plan, likely legislated, to roll back these increases once the deficit is eliminated.

"The topics discussed by Kevin here today are all quite relevant to not only the chamber, but all New Brunswickers," stated Chris Johnston, Fredericton chamber president. "These big issues are something that we need to collectively address if we are going to move forward as a province."

With more than 900 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is one of Atlantic Canada's largest chambers of commerce. A dynamic business organization, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is actively engaged in policy development that affects the competitiveness of our members and of the Canadian business environment.

Contact: Fredericton chamber - (506) 458-8006.

pdfFredericton Chamber of Commerce co-hosts Kevin Lacey with Fredericton North Rotary Club