Councillors Want To Chat With Provincial Election Candidates

Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 19:22 PM

As the September election gets closer, Saint John council is inviting provincial political candidates to stop by and chat about municipal reforms.

The city has created an election white paper highlighting its fiscal challenges and 10 proposed provincial policy changes.

They include overhauling the property tax system, making the regionalization of municipal services a priority, and supporting Saint John Transit.

Coun. Gary Sullivan was the one who asked for the white paper and says this is well beyond what he could have imagined.

"To take all those things that we require help with with our provincial partners and put it into one 10-page document that's written in English that anybody can understand, and not the political speak that we tend to use, is an amazing feat," says Sullivan.

Councillor David Merrithew says a lot of work went into creating the white paper and it'll benefit more than just Saint John.

"I think if [a municipality] implemented any one of these, it would also benefit them," he says. "I think we've done some work for the city of Saint John and our fellow citizens throughout the province."

Mayor Don Darling says the city is stepping up its game in terms of engaging with the candidates and giving them chances to make commitments.

"I think it's critical that candidates and parties make firm commitments to a more sustainable Saint John," says Darling. "We need to do business differently in Saint John."

The provincial candidates will be invited to speak before council later in August.