People's Alliance of New Brunswick

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People's Alliance of New Brunswick
Alliance des gens du Nouveau-Brunswick
Active provincial party
Leader Kris Austin
President Joyce Wright
Founded 2010 (2010)
Headquarters Fredericton, New Brunswick
Ideology Right-wing populism
Colours Purple
Website
www.peoplesalliance.ca

The People's Alliance of New Brunswick (French: Alliance des gens du Nouveau-Brunswick), founded in July 2010, is a political party registered in the province of New Brunswick, Canada.

History[edit]

It was created in the spring of 2010 amidst widespread opposition to the Liberal government's plan to sell NB Power to Hydro-Quebec and what was perceived as lack of credible opposition from the Progressive Conservatives (PCs).[1] The party aimed to run as many candidates as possible in the provincial election held on September 27, 2010.[2] It nominated 14, none of whom was elected. The party won 4,365 votes in those ridings.

The leader of the party is Kris Austin, a former interdenominational minister and candidate for the PC Party nomination in the Grand Lake-Gagetown riding.[3] He has been the Deputy Mayor of Minto since 2012.

In March 2013, former Liberal MLA Leroy Armstrong joined the party, citing an inability to accept Liberal policies, such as support for bilingualism, and problems with ineligible voters in the 2012 Liberal leadership election.[4]

The party has faced some difficulty in Francophone New Brunswick, due to perceptions about the party's stance on language issues.[5] These perceptions stemmed in part from its first president's ties with the Anglo Society of New Brunswick.[6] They have since been nurtured by the party's position on language skill requirements in the civil service, and by its opposition to duality in education.[7] These perceptions were also partly the result of two candidates for party nominations publicly leaving the party, in October 2013. They accused it of showing a "lack of respect" towards the province's Acadian community.[8] Similar comments were made in April 2016 by the party's former vice-president and "Francophone liaison" who deplored the Party's removal of his translations from its official website following his resignation.[9] The party has argued that Francophone concerns about its policies are unfounded, and that the party supports official bilingualism in a practical use that ensures government services are provided in both official languages.[10]

The party has registered between zero and three percent support in the polls since the 2010 New Brunswick election.[11][12]

Policies[edit]

Early on, the party platform advocated free votes for Members of the Legislative Assembly on all matters in the legislature. Other planks were developed at a policy convention in Oromocto in July 2010, including support for official bilingualism, elimination of ambulance fees, and opposition to a second reactor at Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station.[2][13]

Adopted policies after the 2010 election include revising the province's Forestry Act[14] and changing natural resource royalty rates.[15] The party's position on shale gas development had sought to leave the decision to a free vote by all MLAs,[16] but was changed in 2013 to a call for a popular referendum.[17]

In March 2014 the People's Alliance released the first plank of its 2014 Election Platform: the party proposed to rein in MLA salaries and expenses, eliminate MLA pensions by transforming them into an RRSP mirrored in the private sector, and reduce the size of cabinet.[18]

The party held its annual general meeting and policy convention in April 2014 asking party members and people from around the province to submit and debate items for further study which would make up its election platform[19] for the September election. The platform centred on eight key items:[20]

  • Return to fiscal balance
  • Democratic reform
  • A path to economic prosperity
  • Common sense approach to language policy
  • Successful future built on a solid educational foundation
  • A vision for Healthcare
  • Strengthening rural New Brunswick
  • Natural Resources

Other items in included merging the two health authorities, Ambulance NB and Facilicorp into one bilingual authority serving all New Brunswickers. It also proposed merging Invest NB into the Department of Economic Development and transforming the department into a capital venture fund. It would change the Motor Vehicle Act to eliminate the front licence plate and tag stickers, allow two-year registration option for vehicle owners, and two-year inspection intervals on vehicles six years or newer (or up to 150,000 km of usage). The party called for NB Liquor to complete the move towards private retailers selling alcohol (the majority of sites are now private), and for NB Liquor to maintain the profitability of wholesale and distribution which has been implemented in the province of Alberta.

2014 election[edit]

During the 2014 election campaign (August–September 2014), the People's Alliance fielded 18 candidates. The party presented a 36-page election platform with policies on fiscal responsibility, economic development, a comprehensive education strategy, democratic reform among many other policies, which was completely costed out and audited by an independent firm. In mid-August the governing Progressive Conservative party threatened to pull out of the CBC,[21] Rogers and CTV leaders debates if People's Alliance leader Kris Austin or Green leader David Coon were allowed into the televised debates. CBC stood its ground, citing the right of all New Brunswickers to see and hear all five leaders debate the issues. Soon after PC leader David Alward reversed his decision when CBC was to go ahead without him[22] Rogers soon followed suit, reversing its decision to keep Austin and Coon out. In the end, only CTV (Bell Media) kept Austin and Coon out of its roundtable debate, which was aired three days before election night.

The party did not win any seats in the election; however, leader Kris Austin missed being elected by only 26 votes in the riding of Fredericton Grand Lake. After some problems with the tabulators on election night, and following confirmation from Elections NB that one or more people may have voted in Austin's riding who shouldn't have, he was granted a recount[23] The recount upheld the election night results with only one additional vote going to Austin than originally counted.

The party had two third-place finishes with LeRoy Armstrong in Sussex-Fundy-St.Martins and deputy leader Wes Gullison in SW Miramichi Bay du Vin.

Electoral record[edit]

General election # of candidates # of elected candidates # of ridings # of votes  % of popular vote  % of popular vote in contested ridings
2010 14 0 55 4,389 1.18% 4.89%
2014 18 0 49 7,964 2.14% 5.88%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "People's Alliance forms new N.B. political party". CBC News. June 9, 2010. Archived from the original on July 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "People's Alliance opposes 2nd nuclear plant". CBC News. July 11, 2010. Archived from the original on July 15, 2010. 
  3. ^ "People's Alliance: Kris Austin". CBC News. August 13, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Liberal LeRoy Armstrong defects to People's Alliance". CBC News. March 11, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Le prix de l'intolérance". Acadie Nouvelle. October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2016. 
  6. ^ "People's Alliance party eyes first election". The Daily Gleaner, p. A1. June 10, 2010. 
  7. ^ "People's Alliance questions bilingualism". CBC News. September 26, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ http://www.acadienouvelle.com/actualites/2013/10/16/politique-provinciale-lalliance-gens-lave-linge-sale-en-public/
  9. ^ "Après l'Alliance des gens du N.-B., le conseil d'éducation de district". Radio-Canada Ici Acadie. April 12, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2017. 
  10. ^ "Platform & Policy – Language Policy". People's Alliance of New Brunswick. 
  11. ^ http://cra.ca/nb-liberals-maintain-lead-in-voter-intentions/
  12. ^ "New Brunswick provincial polling averages". ThreeHundredEight.com. Éric Grenier. February 11, 2017. 
  13. ^ Moore, Nick (July 12, 2010). "People's Alliance party would scrap ambulance fees". Moncton Times and Transcript. [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "People's Alliance of New Brunswick Leader Kris Austin views on the new propose Forestry Act". youtube.com. Charles LeBlanc. July 28, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Platform & Policies – Natural Resources". People's Alliance of New Brunswick. 
  16. ^ "Telegraph Journal: People's Alliance Looks to Make Inroads". People's Alliance of New Brunswick. September 27, 2013. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. 
  17. ^ "People's Alliance commitment on shale gas issue". People's Alliance of New Brunswick. October 23, 2013. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. 
  18. ^ "People's Alliance MLA compensation reform policy". People's Alliance of New Brunswick. March 11, 2014. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Message from Kris Austin, Party Leader". People's Alliance of New Brunswick. 
  20. ^ "2014 Election Platform" (PDF). People's Alliance of New Brunswick. 
  21. ^ "Progressive Conservatives pull out of CBC election debate". CBC News. August 19, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Tories reverse decision, agree to CBC election debate". CBC News. August 22, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Kris Austin applies for recount in Fredericton-Grand Lake". CBC News. September 29, 2014. 

External links[edit]