Budget surpluses: New Brunswick municipalities want their share

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Budget surpluses: New Brunswick municipalities want their share

Municipal elections are taking place on November 28.

The municipal elections in New Brunswick are on November 28, 2022.

The New Brunswick government announced budget surpluses of $774 million last week. In the middle of an election campaign, municipalities want to have their share of the pie.

The new municipalities created by the reform of local governance in New Brunswick will be born on January 1st. Many already fear ending up in the red.

This government, each time it takes a new step, we feel it, but here we are sure of that, it is with the aim of saving money. money, says Yvon Godin, chairman of the board of directors of the Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick (AFMNB).

The municipal reform orchestrated by the government of Blaine Higgs was an undeniable need, continues Mr. Godin, but today, everything is done on the backs of municipalities, monetarily.

The mergers that will be effective on January 1 and will give birth to new municipal entities, larger and more populated, are a game-changer in terms of public finances. According to the president of the AFMNB, the funding must be adjusted accordingly.

I look at the other provinces, they are currently receiving checks of $200 to $500, $600, because of all the economic problems we are currently having. I haven't seen anything like that at the provincial level [of New Brunswick], denounces Yvon Godin. We accumulate astronomical sums of money and the goal is not to help citizens.

Yvon Godin, October 16 in Edmundston

According to him, when investments are made in infrastructure, more often than not, it is in the largest cities. Rural areas are still being left behind and they have no help, he says.

In the North West, the new municipality of Saint- Quentin will be created by merging the present city of Saint-Quentin and the local service districts (LSDs) of Saint-Quentin and Saint-Martin-de-Restigouche.

The two candidates for mayor of the new municipality of Saint-Quentin are demanding a share of these budget surpluses, and already have ideas on how to use them.

Joey Couturier, candidate for mayor of Saint-Quentin

Our health care system is currently experiencing problems, says Joey Couturier. For us, in the region, it leads us to have less services.

If he is elected mayor, Joey Couturier intends to ask the province for funding so that we can better administer our hospital.

Nicole Somers, candidate for mayor of Saint-Quentin (archives)

Nicole Somers, outgoing mayor of the city of Saint-Quentin, is running for mayor of the new municipality, which will have some 3,600 inhabitants, or about 1,500 more people. What we want is to have affordable housing for people who are less well off in our municipality, says Nicole Somers. To be able to meet their needs, that is an urgent need.

The municipal elections in New Brunswick are on November 28, 2022.

Based on the report by Mathilde Pineault

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