Tuesday, December 27, 2005


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Daily Sitting 6 / Jour de séance 6
December 14, 2005 Not finalized / Non finalisé le 14 décembre 2005
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Mr. A. LeBlanc: First of all, I would like to congratulate the member for Saint John Portland on getting his position. I know that he will be an asset to us in the Saint John area. I have hoped, since I got here, to work with this gentleman. I know that many good things will happen to Saint John because he got a Cabinet post.

I would also like to recognize my good friend Ed Doherty, who has now been in his seat since November 14. Again, congratulations to you, Ed. You did a great job.

I am going to eliminate all the formalities here about my riding and about my caucus colleagues.

They know how I feel, and they know that they are the people who showed me direction.

I try to follow that.

Every day is a learning day for me as an MLA. There are a number of different issues that cross my desk on a daily basis.

I must say that it is very important to all those who come to meet with me that
they have the opportunity to have somebody listen to their problems and honestly to try to resolve them.

I have thought about this at great length.

One of the greatest gifts that God gives each one of us is to sit in this Legislature to try to resolve some of the problems that people run up against every day.

I think that is very important. Sometimes I think that we take that for granted. I know in my heart and soul that there are days when we get tired doing our jobs, but there are phone calls we have to return.

That is the gift of being an MLA in New Brunswick.

During the by-election in Saint John on November 14, many MLAs from both sides of this Assembly were working in the ridings for their candidates.

The learning experience that they witnessed was poverty.

The whole area that Saint John Harbour covers is pretty well in poverty, except for my good friend from Saint John Portland, and he has his fair share of it.

In the East End of that riding, down by the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, that is poverty, with low-cost housing, seniors, and so on.

In the lower part of the West Side, there is another drastic situation, as there is in the North End and, of course, the South End.

The question that I have to ask myself sometimes is: Where are we going with this, and what can we do?

It is really moving that these things all arise at one given time. I know that on the other side of this House, when they were campaigning, they saw these things. They know that Saint John is in need.

I know what my friend from Saint John Portland has seen when he has campaigned from
door to door. I know the little things and the big things that happened in the North End.

I see the basketball court that was asphalted behind the school off of Newman Street.

I see the things that are taking place in that area.

I have seen some of things that took place in my area, some of the guidance that I got here on how I could obtain money for community buildings within my own riding and
other ridings in Saint John.

It has been a blessing for me to be able to do those things.

I had the privilege of attending a meeting with caregivers, the home care workers. A gentleman spoke that night, he and his wife and their two children. It is sad that this guy is only making a minimum amount of money.

When I talk about a minimum amount of money, there was a contract negotiated up north for these home care workers. If you look back, I think that the contract said that
in the year 2008, they will be making $9.73 per hour.

These people in Saint John are working for anywhere from minimum wage up to probably $7.50 per hour. Who do they care for? They care for the elderly. They care for the sick. They make sure that these people get out for groceries, and what
have you.

As I stand here, I am sort of ashamed of this whole thing.

These people only receive 12¢ per kilometre, and some of them have to travel from Saint John to St. Martins.

Stop and think about it.

We MLAs get almost three times that much for travel. Where does the equality come in?

Because I am an MLA, should I get more for a travel allowance? I think that it should be on a more equal basis, so that anybody who works . . . If I am getting 33¢ or 35¢, the individual who is using his car is using it just the same way I am, to service somebody in New Brunswick.

These matters are serious. If we can correct things in some manner for Saint John, or for other parts of this province, I think we have to look at the province as a whole.

I do not know what the stats are, but I know that a lot of people contribute to this purse. The seniors of the province have contributed all their lives.

At some point, it is time to give some of that back.

I do not know how we are going to do that, but there is some way that each one of us as legislators can.

I talked about the gift of being here. We should try to utilize that gift and give something back in some manner, even if it is to pay a little bit more for the services they receive or up the kilometre fees, whatever the case may be. I know that any one of us at any given time has assisted a senior fill out their health card that goes to Moncton.

Over the last couple of years, quite a few of them have come to my office, and they appreciate that I take the time for them.

They appreciate that we take the time to listen and to do a few things for them. It is very important.

The situation that night with the caregivers was heavy duty. They were talking about joining unions and doing things that they have to do to bring awareness to what we do up here.

Really, that should not have to be. I am a union person myself, but I do not think that is the total resolution, because sometimes we do have to deal with the public sector in negotiations.

I would like to talk a little about contract negotiations, because I think it is very important. We met with CUPE 1190, the transportation people who deal with highways and ferries to ensure that travel is safe for all of us.

We can remember a few years ago when we lost the Hon. Nancy Teed in a highway accident, because of the condition of the roads. She was an asset to this Legislature and to the city of Saint John.

These things are important. We lose key people. However, key people are not the only people we should be worrying about. We should be worrying about all the people and that the roads they travel are secure and well looked after.

With respect to contract negotiations—and I was privileged to this information—they talked about not having a contract for two years. They have been in negotiations for two years. I understand that it is in conciliation right now.

However, you have to stop and think that every day we are dealing with human life. We are not just talking about the guy who is out there working, we are also talking
about the family that the people represent. They go out daily and bring their pay home to help these people.

We employ a lot of these people in the province, and we do not give them the respect that they deserve in collective bargaining. This bothers me. I can understand sometimes what the Minister of Human Resources is saying—and I raised this one time in the House—but she told me she does not deal with negotiations. It seemed awful funny that in two contracts that we talked about, she and the Premier had them resolved, because that was the next step.

When is the government going to wake up to the reality that these blue collar workers are important?

I would like to talk about workers’ compensation, which I think is important. As my leader said the other day, we should have a total review of the Workers’ Compensation Board.

Just a short while ago, I was talking to a couple of ministers on the other side, and somewhere in their own minds, as well as in my own, we are losing the control, or the control that they should have over the Crown corporations to do the proper thing.

Workers’ compensation has not had a review since 1980 with the Boudreau report. There are some people in this Legislature who can relate to that.

The Boudreau report made some really drastic changes in workers’ compensation that helped a lot of people and it hurt a lot of people. You know, we go through a whole process with this new system, even workers’ compensation is subsidized by Canada Pension.

It is something that you and your employer has contributed to, so somewhere in the federal standing back many years ago, they said: We will allow this. That is a cost partially for me to be an employee under some employer that I am going to be covered, and I am going to assist him in cutting my wages in this tax-free money.

The whole process of the Workers’ Compensation Board is not real sometimes. We talk about deeming, and I think that every MLA that has dealt with any person in compensation has dealt with the serious part of deeming and the effect that it has. I have said this to the chairman of that board on many occasions. Sometimes, there is not enough being done by the case manager to resolve the case rather than send it on to an appeal.

I would like to point out that only in the southwest region—Saint John, Sussex, St. Stephen, and up to Oromocto—there are roughly eight case managers with a workload of 65 cases which they handle. Guess what? We have maybe four or five advocates throughout the whole of New Brunswick who have caseloads of over 100. The justice there is not being justified.

These things are wrong.

I am going to talk about some individuals, just to get a clear picture in this Legislature of what is actually taking place. Yesterday, I raised the name Ricky Harding.

This is what really bothers me, and I really get frustrated by this. This is one of the reasons why the Workers’ Compensation Board should have a review. First, it should be responsible to make sure that that Workers’ Compensation Act should be fully looked after. It is their responsibility. What they talk about here is mandatory.

Three people are employed under my employee, as an employer. It is automatically mandatory that it should covered under workers’ compensation. Here are people going to work in this province.

I am using Ricky Harding as an example. He figured that he would go to work for this Native employer and that he would be covered. Well, he is not covered.

On November 8, 2004, this gentleman had an accident. He had a broken arm, a broken ankle, and some busted ribs. This man is still out—I should not say of the Workers’ Compensation Board.

However, through the bickering and through the Department of Training and Employment Development and the minister that were trying to resolve this, we have lost the time now for the courts.

I received a call today from David Greason, who is the Vice-President of the Workers’
Compensation Board. He said: Where did you hear this story that Fraser is going to get involved?

Well, Fraser is the contractor. It subcontracted it to a Native employer, and the only place that the Native employer is excluded from the Workers’ Compensation Board, from my understanding, is on a reservation.

That is fair. However, once they go on Crown land, then, somewhere, we, as
legislators have to take a stand.

These people who are sitting on this floor today—the Minister of Training and Employment Development—must realize that we have to put our foot down. This guy has got to be paid compensation.

There were second injury funds. Compensation has high-priced lawyers who can go
out, negotiate, and get that money. Sue that employer. Those individuals go to work every day. Say, for all intents and purposes, that was a young man who had a wife and children, and he got killed.

Where would that wife be today without that coverage? There are hundreds of people today who are going to work.

I talked to the member from around St. Stephen a little earlier. He said that it is not only the Natives, and he is right there too. People are paying under the table. People are going to work without any coverage.

I really, truly, and firmly believe, standing here today, that we, as legislators, must do something.

We even talked about giving a press release. I did today. It is not against the government; it is against the Workers’ Compensation Board. However, the minister herself must take the responsibility here and say: Hey, what is going on? No wonder they want a review.

There is another gentleman from Boiestown. His name is Edwin O’Donnell. This man has been told that he has to go to the NBCC in Moncton. I am going to tell you that I am not a doctor, nor am I a professional in any manner, but I can certainly tell that this man was in no condition to go anywhere.

The board tried to escape because of a broken vertebra. He was a paramedic, and he
worked with that broken vertebra, which created more problems for him.

Today, this guy is still sitting in limbo. He is getting paid, but the case cannot be resolved until I am able to sit down with Doug Stanley and the vice-president, David Greason. You may say that that is not my job, and I agree that it is not my job, but as we, as legislators, do not stand up and start being accountable for helping people, especially in these matters, then where are we going?

I also know another individual. His name is Ian Warman. He is in my riding. This man was robbed by the Workers’ Compensation Board. He was cut off in the year 2001, on October 16. He went before an appeals panel, and the appeals panel’s decision was clear, because I read it.

It was to take it back to the case manager and have a specific case evaluation, because they deemed him wrong.

The guy is still not getting his money. That is wrong.

I dealt with a young woman in my riding, as well. Her name is Kim Mallette, another young lady who cannot even walk up a flight of stairs, and they are telling her to go out and do a job search.

She says: If I don’t do this, they are going to cut me off. To my mind, that is stealing. That is fraud. You are taking money that does not belong to you, but a person has to do this to get through the system, because that is what the system dictates.

I just want to finish up with one thing on this appeals panel situation. I was on that appeals panel with Leonard Arseneault, who created and worked on this operation and who put it in place.

You could not find a more compassionate person, and he instilled that in every one of us who was on that panel.

He said: These people are hurting inside emotionally. Be gentle, be kind, and listen.
Today, we have the appeals panel chairman who replaced him. His name is Paul LeBreton, and the only thing he leaves at home is his judge’s robe. You are not a judge and jury when you are dealing with these people, and it is sad to see that, but that is what is actually taking place.

That is why we need a review of workers’ compensation.

The workers’ advocates, as I told you a while ago, are overworked. They are sitting on over 100 cases.

I could go on about this work capacity evaluation, but I will not, because I do not want to belabour these things, and there are other people who would like to share their own experiences with the throne speech.

I would like to talk about appointments.

My colleague spoke before me; I don’t know where he is from, somewhere in Albert County.

He talked about appointments.

I think appointments are very good if we get the right people.

I want to show you an example.

The Lieutenant-Governor in Council appointed Mrs. Keddy, and Mrs. Keddy did not finish her term, because they had appointed her for five years. Because she was ill, or whatever the case may be, she did not finish her term.

To my mind, when we sit down and appoint people to commissions, boards, or what have you, there has to be a trial time of a year or two.

Another fine example: we have a gentleman in Saint John who is an ex-firefighter, or whatever, and he was a councillor in Saint John. His name is Mel Vincent.

I have more knowledge of the Workers’ Compensation Board in my little finger—and probably you do yourself, Mr. Speaker—than Mel Vincent would have.

Here is a man who was appointed for five years.

Here I am, standing here today, and there are three appointees who have not been reappointed or had new people appointed in their places.

Come January of next year, there will be a limited number of hearings for the injured
workers of this province—another delay in workers’ compensation.

I want to point out, too, that there are negotiations going on with the Workers’ Compensation Board, with the larger of the two unions. Both sides agreed with the suggestion that came from Doug Stanley that they should appoint an independent commissioner to hear the problems.

His name was Don MacLean, and he is from Moncton. Don MacLean brought in a recommendation that the employer had total control and agreed with the union, but they would not agree to this contract.

Now, we are facing a strike in January, and again, what is going to happen to the injured workers?


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Again, I will give the speaker the floor and ask you to refrain from the excessive heckling. All you are doing is adding to the level of cacophony here.

Mr. A. LeBlanc: I would like to touch a bit on the New Brunswick Federation of Labour. Again, it is under the minister’s department, the Department of Training and Employment Development.

When you look at the stakeholders, there are over 40 000 people in New Brunswick who are represented by the New Brunswick Federation of Labour.

Last week, when I talked to Michel Boudreau, I understood that three of the ministers only gave him 15 minutes.

I think that is a disgrace and an insult to the workers of New Brunswick. The ministers could not find a little more time to listen to the problems of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour.

I think that is important, and they deserve much more respect.

I shared an office with a doctor in Saint John, and I get to hear a lot of people talk, especially seniors.

He is an elderly doctor, and his patients and clients are old. Here are some of the things that they say.

They say: Mr. LeBlanc—and I tell them not to refer to me that way, because it makes me sound like I am old . . . They talk about fixed incomes. They say how either their husband or wife has just passed away, and ask how they are going to live. They talk about the heating costs that occur every winter. Then they say that they are having problems and cannot afford their prescriptions.

I know that this doctor is very kind, because if there are medicines that he has retrieved from somebody else, he passes them on to them. That is very kind of him, but again, it becomes our responsibility.

We failed these people in some manner, and I am not blaming this government or the
government before or the government before that. All I am saying is the reality is that we were elected to do a job.

What we are trying to do is prevent people from having to go to food banks or
prevent seniors from having to get out of their homes to go somewhere to get something to eat.

As a proud New Brunswicker, I stand in this Assembly, like the rest of us here, and try to work hard to resolve some of these issues. I do not only work for the constituents of Saint John Lancaster.

I was told when I was elected to this Legislature that I would serve everybody in the province.

I became one of the decision makers who will make it beneficial for them to have a better quality of life.

In particular, I have to talk about the needy, which is a concern. We talk a lot about seniors, but what about our children? What about the disabled? What about our kids who are going to college and so on, and the amount of money that earn to try to subsidize themselves to get through college?

I look around here today and I see all these young women and young men. Their whole situation is that they have parents who are trying to survive, and maybe they have sisters and brothers in the same situation. They, too, deserve a fair wage for the number of hours they are there, because it gives them an opportunity to get something to eat, or maybe they can do a little shopping for their parents over Christmas.

Look at their wages. Just look at their wages. They are well-educated young people, and the Speaker himself has an opportunity to give these people employment. They are just a few.

Are we paying them a fair wage sometimes?

I question that.

They work hard for us.

I know that we can do great things if we want to work together, collectively. I stand here and, again, I am going to reiterate one thing: It is a gift that God gave each and every one of us that we sit in this Legislature and try to be half-decent, to help the people who really need this.

Thank you.


Tide is coming in full force in Bathurst!!!! See how easy it is? You just take a picture and Voila!!!!



Yes both provincial political parties in New Brunswick should be ashamed of themselves.


Last week, I didn’t truly understand the happenings of women being paid equal pay for doing the same amount of work as the male population in New Brunswick.

After someone took the time to explain to me the details?

I said - MY GOD!!! New Brunswick is living in the dark ages.

What’s funny or sad in this case? I was told it was in the Liberal platform in 2003 that women would get paid equal pay in the private sector.


I was told that small businesses told the Government that if they have to pay women equal pay as the men?

They couldn’t survive in today’s world!

In my view? This is the same statement as the owners of black slaves were saying 200 years ago.


We can’t give the black population rights because we would have to pay them! We wouldn’t be able to survive!

What a bunch of hogwash!!!!

Both Political Parties in Fredericton should hold the head in shame for not fighting for women rights in today’s world!


The whole world should know that New Brunswick would treat it female population as second-class citizens.

They told the businesses that they have five years to clean up their act on this issue!

Five years of discrimination against the females in the private sector?

Don’t we have rights in this Province? Why did these two political parties vote against this bill?

It just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever!!!

Shame Shame Shame!!!


I believe that Greg Thompson is in big trouble in his riding.

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I spent a couple of days in Saint George and I only chatted with a couple of people but I got the same answer.

They separately told me the same statement - There’s no way in the world that I’m supposing Greg because of Bernard Lord.

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I explained to the individuals that Bernard Lord was Provincial and Greg Thompson is an MP in Ottawa.

It’s not the same thing at all! In the end, I didn’t change their mind at all.

Could it be there are many more people who have the same feeling?

If I was in Greg Thompson shoes?

I would announce a news conference and distant myself from Bernard Lord.

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The Premier is hated so much that even an innocent elected official can be effected by the wrath of the voters.


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( 1 SAMUEL 17:49 *NKJV )

Dear Charles,
We all face something in our lives that seems just like the
giant Goliath did to that young shepherd boy, David. So just
as David, if we put all of our trust in our Heavenly Father, we
will be victorious as well! For God has promised us; FEAR NOT,
( ISAIAH 41:10 )

After all it is written that; HE GIVES POWER TO THE
INCREASES STRENGTH. ( ISAIAH 40:29 ) That is of course

Therefore Charles, when facing your own "Giant," remember
the story of that young shepherd boy David, and his tremendous
faith in our Heavenly Father! After all it is written; FOR
( MATTHEW 17:20 )

are His Child and He will always Love and Care for you as well.

With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
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