Friday, May 26, 2006


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Post-Secondary Education
Mr. S. Graham: My question this morning is for the Minister of Post-Secondary Education and
Training. The issue pertaining to post-secondary education in our province is very important. I will
ask for your indulgence, Mr. Speaker. This is not a political question to the Minister of Post-
Secondary Education and Training. I am sure that the minister is aware of the facts pertaining to a
report from the Royal Commission on Higher Education in New Brunswick in 1854, which was
established at that time, when the Loyalists were founding the province of New Brunswick. At that
time, even with all the hardships that the pioneers of this province were facing, higher education was
very important. At that time, the commission established the following:
We are persuaded the youthful intellect of New Brunswick is not inferior to that of any other
Province or State, nor the heart of its people less courageous and patriotic; and with equal aid from
the Government and Legislature for educational development and intellectual progress, we doubt
not, but the future of New Brunswick will be such in intelligence, enterprise, and prosperity, as will
make her the boast and joy of her own people, and the admiration of other countries.
That was at the time when the commission was being established in 1854 to begin the creation of
the University of New Brunswick. We know that today our universities in New Brunswick are
indeed at a crossroads. Our four publicly funded institutions face many challenges. To prepare for
those challenges, a commission that this government has committed to is important.
Mr. Speaker: State the question please.
Mr. S. Graham: My question to the minister—of which, after the history lesson, I am sure he is
aware—is this: When will this government make its announcement on its commitment pertaining
to post-secondary education, and what will be the composition of the committee?
Hon. Mr. Carr: The commission will be launched this spring.
Mr. S. Graham: I would like to make some suggestions this morning. In 1962, when Premier Louis
Robichaud brought in the Deutsch Commission, the province had six universities operating in the
province. There was the University of New Brunswick and Mount Allison University. There were
four universities affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, with St. Joseph’s operating in Moncton
and Memramcook, Sacred Heart in Bathurst, St. Thomas in Chatham, and St. Louis in Edmundston.
At that time, Premier Robichaud, through the recommendations of the Deutsch Commission,
undertook some very progressive changes to our infrastructure. It was bold, it was visionary, and
it was controversial during the time—closing the St. Thomas University in the Miramichi and
moving it here to Fredericton, creating an extension with UNBSJ in Saint John, and creating the
University of Moncton. This bold and visionary model was accomplished within a six-month time
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frame. My question to the minister is this: It has been three years since this government made the
commitment, but it has yet to move on it. If it is sometime this spring, can the minister give any
indication as to what the composition of the commission will be?
Hon. Mr. Carr: It is clear that the Premier has set out a goal under the Five in Five Initiative to
have the highest increase of workers with post-secondary education in Canada. It is a bold and
ambitious goal. It is one that he has been committed to, and he has shown leadership in our province
for post-secondary education with our universities and community colleges. We take post-secondary
education as being very important. It involves universities and community colleges. It involves the
private sector. This spring, the commission will be launched and it will give an opportunity for all
New Brunswickers to participate in planning for the future of post-secondary education.
Mr. S. Graham: Again, that is two questions that the minister has not answered. I have asked today
what the composition of the commission will be. The Deutsch Commission, which Premier
Robichaud instructed to be formed, was a one-person commission. Out of that commission, came
a report which I hold in my hand. I will quote from it. Is states:
The need for concerted action is urgent; . . . Failure to adopt now the necessary long-range policies
and plans to meet the challenges of the coming decade can only result in continued piece-meal, stopgap
measures incapable of producing a reasonable standard of higher education. The burden of
inadequate educational services is life-long, not only for the individual, but also for the economic,
social, and political well-being of the Province. The next fifty years of New Brunswick history will
be, to a large extent, the outcome of what is done to meet the educational requirements which now
018 11:15
Louis Robichaud was a pioneer in this province. Within a six-month time frame, he transformed our
universities. Today, we are at the same crossroads, and it is very discouraging that this minister
cannot answer a basic question on the composition of this all-important commission which will,
indeed, give our universities the ability to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Hon. Mr. Carr: We are constantly working with our stakeholders on this issue. We know it is a
priority for the postsecondary education sector, a priority for our Premier, and a priority for our
government to plan for the future of postsecondary education, which includes our universities.
Certainly, if the member opposite has any input or advice, I am open to sitting down and talking
with the Leader of the Opposition as we finalize the commission. Again, that will be done and
launched this spring.
Mr. S. Graham: When we made recommendations to this government in the past, one was to have
the university presidents appear before the Crown corporations committee. It was your government
that voted against it, Mr. Minister. I want to take the minister at his word, but this government’s
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commitment to postsecondary education on this commission is very important. That is why I am
asking a simple question: What will the composition be? You are saying you will be reaching out
to the stakeholders. Will it be a one-person commission? Will there be multiple stakeholders? We
just want some basic public information on the type of commission we are looking at.
Premier Robichaud undertook one of the most revolutionary studies that allowed our universities
to be prepared at that point in time, in 1962. Today, we are again facing the same challenges. That
is why I think it is imperative, if the minister is going to be announcing a program, that it should not
be similar to the HST reduction on energy, which has still not been announced in the public . . . That
is why we are asking the necessary questions today, to indicate clearly to the public what the
composition of the committee will be. Just give us your thoughts on this, Mr. Minister.
Hon. Mr. Lord: I have to take issue with some of the comments made by the Leader of the
Opposition. Sure, there were some important changes made in the 1960s. Everybody knows that.
There were also some important changes made in the 1990s, when the previous Liberal government
cut funding to universities. Their commitment to universities and community colleges was clear. The
last time the Liberals had a chance to do something for universities, they cut the funding. The last
time the Liberals had a chance to do something for students in this province, they cut subsidies for
student aid. The last time we had the chance to do something for universities, the Minister of
Finance tabled a budget with record funding for universities, and the Liberals voted against it.
While we appreciate the tone, it takes more than tone to lead this province, and the leadership that
we have been showing will continue to make sure that our universities, community colleges, and
private institutions play a critical role in making sure that New Brunswick is the smart province and
that we are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities of the 21st century.
Mr. S. Graham: It is very discouraging this morning that the Premier wants to stand up and fight
the 1999 election over again. May I remind the Premier that he won that election? He won it fair and
square. The people of New Brunswick decided. The question I am asking today is about the future
of our universities. The point I am making is that former Premier Louis Robichaud, with the
recommendations of the Deutsch Commission, moved within a six-month time frame. Louis
Robichaud was not afraid to act. The University of Moncton was created. St. Thomas University was
moved from the Miramichi, under very challenging circumstances; the bishop of the time did not
want to see it moved. It was moved to Fredericton. At the same time, The University of New
Brunswick in Saint John was established, because, at that time, the city, with a population base of
50 000, was the only place that did not have an academic institution for higher education.
Yes, this province is accustomed to revolutionary change within its universities. The time has now
come for us to have a frank and open debate on how we are going to be prepared for the 21st
century. The Premier wants to discuss the challenges that the last administration faced, but we are
here today to talk about the future. Very clearly, he chose not to answer the question, and the
question to the Premier is as simple as this . . .
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Mr. Speaker: Time.
019 11:20
Hon. Mr. Lord: I think what we see today is this incredible act from the Leader of the Opposition,
who wants to talk about the future in 1962, but does not want to talk about the future of the 1990s.
He wants to talk about one part of the Liberal history, but wants to completely make an abstraction
of the other part of the Liberal history. I believe that every Premier in this province has worked very
hard to move this province forward.
I want to say very clearly that we cannot forget some of the decisions that were made in the 1990s
by the Liberals. Those decisions did have an impact on our students and did have an impact on our
universities. That is why, every single year, we have been doing some catching up. We have been
investing more every year to support our universities. We have been revamping student aid in New
Brunswick, launching the New Brunswick tuition tax cash back initiative, for which the Liberals still
want to block the legislation in this House. This bill will transform student aid in this province, and
give the lowest tuition that students have seen in over a generation. We have stated very clearly that
we believe in our postsecondary institutions. That is why we will launch the commission. We are
exploring different options for the composition of the commission. The commission will be launched
this spring.
Mr. S. Graham: It has taken four questions. The Premier stated that they are exploring different
options. We are just asking what those options are. It is unfortunate that the political rhetoric is
overshadowing a very important question.
My next question to the Premier, since he cannot answer that simple one, is this: Will the
commission also review the funding formula for universities, and will it review the role of the
Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission?
Hon. Mr. Lord: The political rhetoric started with the question of the Leader of the Opposition. I
believe it is important, in debate, to make sure that the facts and the truth come out—not just Liberal
rhetoric. Every day, we hear statements from the opposition that contain facts that are liberal,
because they are not totally accurate. I want to make sure that New Brunswickers get the facts. The
facts are that this government has made a strong commitment in support of postsecondary education,
a commitment not seen in this province in quite some time.
The commission will have a mandate. We are exploring different options for the mandate. I have
been very open about the mandate. I want the commission to explore the future of postsecondary
education, how universities interact with each other, how community colleges interact with our
universities, and the role of private sector institutions in this province. The type of funding formula
that should be put in place is, of course, one component of all that. This commission will do
important work, and I look forward to launching the commission by the end of the spring.
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Mr. S. Graham: My next question is to the Deputy Premier, the Minister of Human Resources.
Local 1190, which is the general labour and trades group of CUPE and represents close to 2 000
employees, has been 27 months without a contract. Will the minister not admit today that 27 months
without a contract is much too long a period of time?
Hon. D. Graham: It is 1 780 employees. Our employees have certainly worked . . . I can tell you
that we have a very good relationship with all unions. I know that the Minister of Finance and I
signed the agreement this morning. The union leaders came to us and thanked us for the openness
and the way we have dealt with them. I can tell you that the Premier and I, back in mid-March, had
a forum for which we had scheduled 2 hours, and it lasted 4 hours and 20 minutes. We had very,
very open discussions, frank discussions, on how we could work together. I have met with the same
union, Local 1190, twice since then. The Minister of Transportation and I have met with them, and
we are certainly going back to the table, as of March 6—next week. I feel very confident that we
will get an agreement that the employees will be pleased with and that will be a good price for the
Mr. S. Graham: It is unfortunate that the Deputy Premier could not answer the question. The fact
is that 27 months have passed without a contract. He has had the same meetings with Local 1190
that we on this side of the House have had. One of the issues that is being raised is that the
government is now looking at having snowplow operators in the province on call 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, for a 4-month period during the winter months. I know that this is one of the
concerns being raised in the negotiation process, the fact that these employees will be at home on
a 24-hour basis, and they may be called in 3 or 4 times during a day.
020 11:25
In theory, if there is a large snowstorm, they could indeed work a 45-hour period within the first 3
days of a work week. There are many unanswered questions about how this new structure proposed
by the government could function. My question to the minister is this: With the new structure that
you are proposing, which is to have these workers on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, for a
4-month period, could you give us some clarity about what you are actually trying to achieve?
Hon. D. Graham: I have been in this Legislature since 1993, and I can recall that, during the
McKenna years, there were people outside those windows flapping signs. I will tell you that we have
no lessons to learn from the Shawn Graham Liberals. I will also state that we will not negotiate
terms on the floor of the Legislature. We are going back to the table onne 6, 7, and 8, and all
negotiations will come about in the proper place and at the proper time.
Special Warrants
Mr. Murphy: My question is for the Minister of Finance. A few days ago, in estimates, the Minister
of Finance confirmed that in the last three days of the fiscal year 2005-06, the budget of $197
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million for the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission was increased by $60 million by
special warrant. He also confirmed that that $60 million would be spent this year. Although the
government did this by special warrant, according to the principles enunciated by Sheila Fraser, the
Auditor General of Canada, in a report released last week about the gun registry, this is improper
for a government to do. Will the minister refer this immediately to the Auditor General of New
Brunswick for an immediate ruling as to its correctness?
L’hon. M. Volpé : En réponse à la question du député de Moncton-Nord, j’ai dit clairement la
semaine dernière que les montants d’argent aux universités sont des subventions. Un engagement
a été pris sur une période de trois ans, et l’argent peut être donné aux universités à n’importe temps
durant cette période.
Cette année, on avait la flexibilité financière de donner 60 millions de plus au cours de l’année
financière finissant au 31 mars. Donc, les universités ont reçu 60 millions avant la fin de l’année
En ce qui a trait au vérificateur général, de ce côté-ci de la Chambre, on a aucun problème. Celui-ci
a toujours vérifié nos livres chaque année, et, chaque fois, on a toujours obtenu une vérification sans
réserve, comparativement à ce que les Libéraux ont eu à deux reprises lorsque le vérificateur général
leur a donné des vérifications avec réserve. L’année d’après, il a dit à l’ancien gouvernement libéral
qu’il avait fait de la comptabilité créative. De ce côté de la Chambre, nous n’avons jamais eu cela.
Les institutions financières ont augmenté notre cote de crédit à deux reprises, ce qu’on n’avait pas
vu durant le temps des Libéraux. Donc, on a un très bon bilan de ce côté de la Chambre.
Mr. Murphy: The Auditor General in Ottawa, whom this government so often quotes, said last
week, relative to an almost identical case involving the gun registry, about booking money one year
and spending it the next:
In our opinion, Parliament was misinformed about the costs the Centre had incurred and as a result,
Parliament’s control of government spending was improperly limited.
Government used a special warrant for this, which is for urgent and extraordinary circumstances,
according to the law of this province. My question is very simple. If this was a discretionary
measure, and discretionary spending, as the minister said in estimates, then why did government use
a special warrant meant for extraordinary and urgent circumstances?
L’hon. M. Volpé : Il faut qu’une chose soit bien claire : l’argent a été mis aux livres l’an dernier
et il a été dépensé l’an dernier.
L’engagement envers les universités est un engagement de subventions que l’on peut donner
n’importe quel temps durant la période de temps, et on l’a fait. Le montant a été mis aux livres l’an
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dernier et dépensé l’an dernier. Du côté fédéral, ce n’est pas du tout le même cas. Il ne faut pas
comparer des pommes avec des oranges, et le député de Moncton-Nord le sait très bien.
Le vérificateur général va certainement, comme chaque année, revoir les livres de la province selon
un processus qui est en place depuis des années. On n’a aucun problème à ce que le vérificateur
général vérifie les livres. Il y a une note à la page 15 qui explique exactement ce qui s’est passé. Il
n’y a pas de cachette, comme c’était le cas dans le temps des Libéraux. C’est très clair, c’est dans
les livres de la province.
Mr. Murphy: The money was not spent last year. Last year’s budget was $197 million. This year
it is $147 million. Adding on the $60 million means $207 million, which is about what it should be.
Therefore, it was not spent last year.
021 11:35
I am going to ask the minister if he can give me one other example in the books where this has been
done in New Brunswick, and I hope that he cannot. With the logic that he explained last week and
today, he is fast becoming the George Costanza of the finance world. Give me one other example
where this has been used in our books since this government took power. I hope that he cannot tell
us that there is another example.
L’hon. M. Volpé : Une fois de plus, si le député du côté de l’opposition veut prendre le temps
d’écouter, l’argent qu’on a donné aux université dans les livres de la province a été dépensé l’an
dernier. Dans nos livres, l’argent a été dépensé l’an dernier. Les universités ont reçu leur argent l’an
dernier. Donc, nous avons un engagement de plusieurs années pour des fonds qui peuvent être
donnés n’importe quand aux universités. Dans nos livres, l’argent a été dépensé dans l’année
financière de l’an dernier. Nous n’avons aucun problème que nos livres soient vérifiés par le
vérificateur général. La note explicative dans le livre du budget explique très clairement comment
l’argent a été dépensé. Il n’y a pas de cachette. C’est très clair, comparativement à ce que les
Libéraux ont fait lorsqu’ils ont construit l’école Evergreen Park et lorsqu’ils ont construit le Centre
de détention pour jeunes du Nouveau-Brunswick. Il y avait deux séries de livres, et le vérificateur
général avait dit à l’époque que c’était de la comptabilité créative. On dit qu’on aurait pu économiser
1,3 million si on avait suivi le système ordinaire. Tout ce que le gouvernement Libéral a fait était
de cacher les chiffres des livres de la province. L’argent a été dépensé, c’est dans les livres de la
province et les chiffres seront vérifiés par le vérificateur général. Comme d’habitude…
Mr. Speaker: Time.
Natural Resources
Mr. Branch: I have three resource-based questions for the Minister of Natural Resources.
Concerning Caribou Mines, how close is it to going into production? We have been talking about
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this for three years, and it is very important for the northern part of the province, as well as for the
whole province, that this mine go into production to create the jobs that are essential to that part of
New Brunswick, as well as to all of New Brunswick. Can you give us the line-up on that?
Hon. Mr. Ashfield: We had a meeting two weeks ago, I believe, with Blue Note Metals, the mining
company that is looking at taking over Caribou Mines. It has raised the necessary financing. We are
finalizing some of the details. We do not have a final date, but hopefully, it will be in production
Mr. Branch: Do you have somebody in your department reviewing all the different mining
properties in the northern mining camp to make sure that all the properties that can go into
production do go into production as soon as possible? This is very, very important for that part of
the province. It would be important to review these properties on a regular basis. Do you have
somebody in your department doing that?
Hon. Mr. Ashfield: We are always reviewing what is going on in the mining sector of the province.
Our staff is a very competent and professional staff that monitors the mining activity in the north,
as well as all other regions, on a continuous basis.
Mr. Branch: My final question concerns the raw wood that is being shipped to Quebec, creating
jobs in Quebec. I do not wish Quebec any ill, but when I see trainload after trainload of raw chips
being shipped past my home and going into Quebec to create jobs, it gives me a strange feeling. Can
the minister assure this House today that he will take immediate steps to see that those chips are
manufactured in New Brunswick and not continually shipped outside the province?
Hon. Mr. Ashfield: I am sure that the member opposite is fully aware that the forestry industry in
this province, as well as in every other region in Canada and North America, is going through some
very, very challenging times. We have material here, especially in low-grade pulpwood, that we
have no markets for. If we can, on a temporary basis, export to other jurisdictions, we will.
Otherwise, it is going to impact on everything in the forestry industry, including our sawmills.
022 11:35
We do not want to lose any more jobs than have been lost. We will continue to work hard to ensure
that forestry is a vibrant industry in this province. Hopefully, over a period of time, we will see an
increase in activity and more prosperous times for the forestry industry.
If the member opposite knows somebody in the province who can use those woodchips and lowgrade
fibre, I would certainly be interested in hearing from him regarding who that is.
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Nursing Homes—Personal Allowances
Mr. Doherty: My questions are directed to the Minister of Family and Community Services, and
they are along the same lines as my questions yesterday.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to a nursing home administrator, who informed me that
she could hire three full-time equivalents, provided the government agreed to fund adult diapers
under a separate fund. With the addition of three full-time equivalents, our loved ones in nursing
homes perhaps could be taken to the washroom on a more frequent basis and maintain their dignity.
The question I ask the minister is: Will you commit to funding adult diapers as a separate budget
item for our seniors in nursing homes?
L’hon. Mme Dubé : Cela me fait plaisir de continuer la discussion que nous avons eue hier. Quelque
part, je n’en reviens pas non plus de la question que le député me pose. Premièrement, les foyers de
soins ont des budgets pour payer les couches pour adultes. C’est vraiment à l’intérieur des coûts. Je
vais dire aussi que j’ai fait des vérifications, parce que j’étais un peu perturbée par les commentaires
du député d’en face hier. J’ai vérifié auprès des administrateurs à savoir s’ils avaient des défis en
ce sens et s’ils avaient demandé aux résidents d’acheter ces choses nécessaires de façon personnelle.
On a fait le tour, et cela ne se fait pas. Les couches sont bel et bien couvertes dans les services des
différents foyers de soins partout dans la province.
On est choyé au Nouveau-Brunswick, on a un personnel qui est vraiment dédié à offrir de bons soins
aux gens qui résident dans les foyers. Comme je vous le dis, chaque année, nous augmentons le
budget des foyers de soins. Nous aidons justement les résidents. Nous avons également une
augmentation dans le nombre du personnel pour aider justement durant les heures de pointes. Alors,
je pense que ce côté-ci de la Chambre, le gouvernement de Bernard Lord, nous tenons vraiment les
gens les plus vulnérables à coeur. Ce sont des gens à qui ont doit beaucoup pour le développement
de notre province.
Mr. Doherty: Residents of nursing homes in New Brunswick have one of the lowest personal
allowances in the country. They are often forced to purchase nightgowns and underwear from
secondhand clothing depots because their allowance is less than $100 per month. In addition to this,
it is nice for seniors in nursing homes to be able to afford a greeting card for their grandchildren or
perhaps a little treat for themselves. The question I am asking you is: Will you consider increasing
the personal allowance for residents of New Brunswick nursing homes, from less than $100 to the
national average?
L’hon. Mme Dubé : Si le député d’en face avait bel et bien écouté le discours du ministre des
Finances lorsqu’il a présenté son budget, il s’apercevrait que, depuis deux ans, nous augmentons
justement les dépenses personnelles des aînés. Dans une autre année, ce sera une augmentation de
20 %. Je suis encore fière ce matin que vous me donniez l’occasion de le répéter aux gens. On peut
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se souvenir que les Libéraux, lorsqu’ils étaient au pouvoir, n’avaient absolument rien pour les
personnes aînées de la province. On va donner aux personnes aînées une augmentation de 20 %. De
plus, je dois rappeler que, maintenant, contrairement aux Libéraux, les personnes aînées peuvent
aussi vendre leur maison lorsqu’ils le voudront et garder cet argent pour faire ce qu’ils veulent. Ils
pourront acheter des cartes de bibliothèques et des livres de bibliothèques aux enfants, ils pourront
payer l’éducation des enfants et pour les soins personnels qu’ils veulent. C’est ce que j’appelle un
premier ministre qui a une vision, qui a du leadership et qui a du coeur au ventre, contrairement à
l’opposition d’en face qui vote contre.
Mr. Doherty: The staff at nursing homes do not have enough time to spend with individual
residents, whether it is helping them to eat, assisting them with their exercises, or perhaps just
listening to their concerns.
023 11:40
With more hours of care, nursing home staff could improve residents’ quality of life and, ultimately,
save health care dollars. Something as simple as helping a resident to take a walk regularly will
improve the resident’s health; it will perhaps reduce the need for laxatives or help patients to retain
their mobility.
Madam Minister, will you make a commitment to increase the level of care immediately to three
hours per day, as was recommended in the report of the Premier’s Health Quality Council in January
of 2004?
L’hon. M Dubé : Cela me fait plaisir encore une me fois de répondre aux commentaires du député
d’en face. Tout d’un coup on voit qu’il a les personnes aînées à coeur, quelque chose qu’on n’a
certainement pas connu lors des années libérales.
Je peux vous dire — et cela me fait plaisir de le répéter — que, de ce côté-ci de la Chambre, nous
sommes engagés à continuer d’augmenter le nombre d’heures par patient dans les foyers de soins.
Lors de ma deuxième réponse, j’ai aussi dit que, l’année dernière, nous avons ajouté — et encore
cette année — du personnel dans les foyers de soins, et cela pour aider aux heures où il y une plus
grande demande pour des soins. Il a été reconnu qu’il y avait des besoins, et cela, contrairement à
l’opposition qui s’est fermée les yeux lorsqu’elle était au pouvoir. Cette année encore, on ajoutera
du personnel. Je pense que nous nous sommes engagés à embaucher jusqu’à 235 personnes
supplémentaires auprès de nos personnes aînées. Donc, on est vraiment motivé et engagé en ce qui
a trait à la formation supplémentaire qui se donne auprès du personnel, à l’augmentation de


STA_3435, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

These Quebecers have a bad habit of showing New Brunswickers they cannot be trusted. New Brunswickers must regain the People's House from these Quebecers!!!!.



STD_2789, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

( ROMANS 5:8 *NKJV )

Dear Charles,
As you already know God loved us so much that He sent
His son Jesus Christ to die for us. Not because we were
perfect, but because He loved us that much! There couldn't
be a greater demonstration of His love than that! He even
loved us when we were living in sin, that is before we
became Christians.

Now that we are Christians we realize the tremendous
price that our Savior Jesus Christ paid for our sins; AND
GOD HAS FOR US as well. ( 1 JOHN 4:16 )

( JOHN 3:16-17 )

So Charles, never doubt God's Great Love for you, after
all you are His Child. Further, He is not a God waiting
to punish anyone, but a Heavenly Father who has
tremendous love for His Children! So if you ever feel
unloved, and all alone, reach out to Him for He is always
there with open arms waiting for you!

Have a Wonderful and Safe Momorial Day Weekend
and may it be filled with love hope and faith as well. Amen.

With My Love & Prayers,
your servant Allen
[ Prayer Requests---Contact Us---Bible Study---*Donations* ]
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Apostle Paul Ministries, P O Box 55996, Hayward, CA 94545
(c) Copyright 2006 by Apostle Paul Ministries


Charles 04_07_05 020, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

NB Telegraph-Journal | Editorials
As published on page A4 on May 26, 2006

Leaders must break impasse

Unless the dynamic in the legislature changes soon, this session will be remembered as one of the most narrowly political and procedural in New Brunswick history.

Both parties have been at fault. The question taxpayers are asking now is whether the Conservative government and Liberal opposition have the presence of mind to move forward.

The legislative session began well enough, with both parties promising to put issues ahead of petty politics. And at first, it seemed to be working.

The government brought forward a populist budget that included plans to cut nursing home costs, increase the number of teachers and reduce the size of classrooms, provide investment incentives to forestry companies, regulate gas prices, rebate provincial sales tax on home heating costs and cap increases to electricity rates.

While opposition MPs criticized the budget as too little, too late, they also introduced some well-considered legislation of their own, including proposals to protect coastal properties against rising tax assessments and to prevent elected officials from collecting separate salaries from a political party.

With these items on the agenda and the balance of power in the hands of two Independent politicians, New Brunswickers should have been treated to a full and productive debate - the kind that actually produces change.

The government, stung by losses in two byelections and the defection of one of its members, had an opportunity to prove it is capable of governing with vision for the benefit of the whole province. The opposition Liberals, eager to prove themselves worthy of forming government, had an opportunity to counter the premier's policy agenda with alternative proposals. So what happened?

Early in the session - even before Speaker Michael "Tanker" Malley traded in his Independent status for a seat in the government caucus - the potential for a deadlock loomed. The government was looking for a way to regain its majority in the house; the opposition was spoiling for an upset that would produce an early election. Both parties became so focused on their political goals they lost sight of the public interest.

Conservatives and Liberals have squandered their energy on attempts to bypass the legislative process, either by blocking it or by going around it.

Two weeks of negotiation between house leaders have not produced a compromise. The atmosphere in the house has quieted down, but only because MPs are acutely aware of the public's displeasure, and unwilling to risk further offense.

It seems Premier Bernard Lord and Opposition Leader Shawn Graham will have to break the impasse themselves.

The two leaders have already met privately, with little consequence. Next week, they will have another opportunity, as Mr. Graham accompanies the premier to first ministers' meetings in Manitoba. By putting their political differences aside, the two hope to convince western premiers New Brunswickers are serious about equalization reform.

We hope Mr. Lord and Mr. Graham accomplish their goal - and find the middle ground that will put the legislature back on track. The issues that matter are still on the agenda; it's time to give them the attention they deserve.


Picture 026, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

This is sad news for the poor in this City because he does his job well. Mike is going to take a course in social studies at Saint Thomas. He'll be truly missed!!! Bonne Chance Mike!!!


STA_3428, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

Burt is the only MLA in the Legislature who has a sign on his truck telling the public that he's their MLA.

I often wonder the day the Liberals goes into power? Will he continue this fine way to communicate with the voters in his riding?

Good question?



STB_0768, originally uploaded by Oldmaison.

I have been chatting with a few people about this issue and I feel there's something in the air. It's just too darn quiet at the Legislature. Can this trend continue? Of course not!!!