Fredericton Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Priorities
Advancing collaborative care in the Fredericton area is the key advocacy priority for the President’s Committee on Physician Recruitment. Our discussions with physicians, medical residents, and our partners at the regional health authority tell us that the opportunity to practice in a collaborative environment is a major factor when deciding where to practice medicine, and making these opportunities available in our community will help make Fredericton a destination of choice for health care professionals.
There are two specific outcomes we’re pursuing:
• The establishment of additional collaborative care centres in the Fredericton area, with the south side as a priority location.
• A commitment to collaborative care centres in the 2011Horizon Health business plan.
Tip and Training Differential
Many of our members in the food and beverage service sectors operate on slim profit margins and will struggle to remain competitive as the provincial minimum wage approaches $10/hr.
We propose the implementation of two measures to help businesses adjust to this wage increase:
• Tip differential: Already in place in ON and PQ, this legislation would allow employers to pay a lower minimum wage to staff who collect tips (i.e. servers in licensed restaurants).
• Training differential: Already in place in NS, BC, and ON, this legislation would allow employers to pay a lower minimum wage to inexperienced staff (i.e. during the first 500 hours of employment).
Fredericton’s universities, government officials, business leaders, and residents rely on the Fredericton International Airport (FIA) for access to provincial, national, and international destinations. But federal airport policies limit the ability of the FIA and other small National Airport System airports to competitively serve their customers.
There are three key areas where the provincial government must work with federal officials to help the FIA and other small National Airport System airports deliver more competitive service:
• Develop new Airport Capital Assistance Programs that do not exclude small National airports from federal funding
• Direct federal and provincial tax revenues collected from airport operations toward airport improvement projects, like terminal expansion and runway resurfacing
• Explore ways to implement an open skies policy, particularly with the United States
• Reduce fees and taxes on air transportation that result in significant diversions into American airports
The government elected to lead New Brunswick in 2010 will need to have a strong deficit reduction plan that includes aggressive payment targets, realistic revenue projections, and responsible program funding decisions.
A strong economy is critical to our province’s long-term success, and will fuel future investments in core services like health and education. Our next leadership team needs to produce a clear, focused plan that identifies the target strategic sectors aligned to our province’s strengths and unique attributes, and then aggressively pursues investment attraction, research and development support, and job creation within those sectors (ex. ICT).
Re-examine the Finn Report (Building Stronger Local Governments and Regions: An Action Plan for the Future of Local Governance in New Brunswick) and bring its recommendations forward.
Continue to improve on our process for attracting and welcoming new immigrants to New Brunswick, by simplifying the process to apply and immigrate to NB.