The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed our vulnerabilities in the face of globalization. In response, local companies retooled on the fly to produce badly needed items. When empty supermarket shelves showed the brittleness of our food supply lines, families responded by planting gardens and cooking at home.
New Brunswickers want to be more self-reliant, and we can be, simply by harnessing the creativity and energy that already exists in our communities.
Communities and regions should set their own path, building on their unique assets, culture and geographies, with the provincial government supporting them with appropriate policies and funding. These principles are at the heart of a Green economy.
A Green government would:
- Set a local procurement quota for hospitals, schools, universities and colleges, and long-term care homes to increase the local production of essential goods and services, and decrease our reliance on imports. This would include personal protective equipment (PPE) needed in pandemics.
- Create a Department of Rural Affairs and Community Development with decentralized decision-making, to support community-led regional development, and expand the role of cooperatives, worker-owned business, and social enterprises in the economy.
- Support, promote and expand Community Economic Development Investment Funds as a means of financing local development.
- Provide funds for communities to retrofit and repurpose unused and historic buildings such as schools, courthouses and the Memramcook Institute.