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COALITION OF NEW BRUNSWICK EMPLOYERS                 —————————————


February 18, 2021

Office of The Premier
Chancery Place
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, N.B.
E3B 5H1

Via: E-mail

Dear Premier Higgs:

Re: Strategic Pandemic Collaboration with the Business Community

We would like to thank your government for the many efforts to assist business in this unprecedented time. This support is greatly appreciated.

Business leaders, like ourselves, represent close to 300,000 hard-working New Brunswickers, and we clearly understand the need for the caution and restrictions that directly impact the health and the economics of our province.

As you are very aware, our business community has been dramatically impacted by COVID-19.  As the New Brunswick Government manages through this crisis, business input and feedback are critical to ensure that the government policies established to protect our citizens and workers does not unnecessarily restrict business operations.

As a result, our organization is proposing strategic collaboration to provide input and feedback regarding COVID-19 related policies that have a direct impact on New Brunswick businesses. We are recommending that a representative group of our members (approximately eight in number) act as a strategic sounding board and business liaison group with your government. Our group would also proactively bring issues and concerns to the table for discussion with government in advance of government policy decisions being made.

The intent is to fully understand, and where possible, to mitigate any additional negative impacts on business, New Brunswick’s economy and most importantly our employees.  We believe this strategic collaboration will benefit all New Brunswickers by finding safe ways to maximize employment, while providing the broadest range of goods and services.

We anticipate that COVID-19 restrictions will apply well into 2021, making it imperative that business and government collectively work together to balance safety and the economy as we move through the pandemic.

Rotational Workers:

A recent example of business impacting decisions is the current restrictions on Rotational Workers. This decision was made without the opportunity for business to be part of the discussion in detail on risks, business impacts and most importantly alternative, safe solutions. This decision causes our membership grave concerns.

In response and more broadly in the name of working together to keep our economy strong, we are urgently requesting that the mandatory order be amended so that New Brunswick resident critical infrastructure workers traveling outside the province be approved for exemption from self-isolation upon returning home to New Brunswick provided they meet the Critical Infrastructure Worker Exemption Process requirements.

Our request is for a meeting this week to discuss.

Working collaboratively is the best way through this challenging time for all New Brunswickers. We look forward to your response and the opportunity for meaningful dialogue.

Thank you for your consideration.

Ron Marcolin
Coalition of New Brunswick Employer

Cc:      Members of the Executive Council

            Members of the Legislative Assembly

            Members of the Coalition of New Brunswick Employers

            Atlantic Building Supply Dealers Association

            Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association

Atlantic Chamber of Commerce
Atlantic Convenience Store Association
Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association
Atlantica Centre For Energy
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – Chair
Chaleur Chamber of Commerce
Conseil economic du Nouveau-Brunswick
Construction Association of New Brunswick
Food & Beverage Atlantic
Forest NB
Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
Fredericton Northwest Construction Association
Joint Economic Development Initiative
Mechanical Contractors Association of New Brunswick
Moncton Northeast Construction Association
Miramichi Chamber of Commerce
New Brunswick Automobile Dealers Association
New Brunswick Business Council
New Brunswick Merit Contractors Association
New Brunswick Real Estate Association
New Brunswick Roofing Contractors Association
Restaurants Canada
Retail Council of Canada
Road Builders Association of New Brunswick
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Moncton
The Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce
Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick           

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