For Immediate Release
[1 February 2013]

(FREDERICTON, NB) – The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2013 State of the Province Address last night at the Fredericton Convention Centre. Nearly 1,000 guests attended the sold-out event. Premier Alward’s focus on innovation and resource diversification throughout his speech provided some insights into his government’s plans to “rebuild New Brunswick”.

The chamber is encouraged that the province is committing to making a significant investment of $80 million over five years in innovation. Economic development through investment in innovation and post-secondary education was the first item in the chamber’s pre-budget submission to Minister Higgs in January. Engaging Geoff Flood of T4G as co-chair of the New Brunswick Research and Innovation Council will give the Alward government invaluable private-sector perspective and experience.

The Fredericton chamber looks forward to reviewing the province’s blueprint for shale gas development in the coming weeks. Having a regime in place to effectively regulate this industry will be critical to its viability, sustainability, and credibility in the province. The chamber was pleased that the premier specifically mentioned the protection of the province’s water as a priority, another item mentioned in our pre-budget submission. The chamber also supports the premier’s efforts in exploring the possibility of an east-west pipeline from Alberta to Saint John.

“The premier spoke about several topics that the chamber has been advocating over the past couple of years,” stated Janice Corey, chamber president. “The innovation agenda has been a priority at the chamber since I first became involved with the organization.

”After his address, the premier responded to five questions from chamber members and citizens of the province. The topics covered by these questions were: time frames for implementing the recommendations in the government’s “Strategies for Innovation” document; the debt and deficit; retaining the province’s youth; population growth; and senior citizen care.

“The opportunity to engage directly with the premier and be a critical part of the evening is something that our members truly appreciate,” stated Krista Ross, CEO of the Fredericton chamber. “The ability for citizens of the province to broach topics that the premier may or may not address in his speech allows for a personalized feeling to such a large event.”

The premier’s speech can be viewed on the Rogers TV website at www.rogerstv.com.

With more than 900 members, the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce is one of Atlantic Canada’s largest chambers of commerce. A dynamic and relevant 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: Krista Ross, Chief Executive Officer, 458-8006.

pdfFebruary 1, 2013 - 2013 State of the Province Address