To ensure our companies remain competitive inside and outside the province, trade agreements must be implemented in a fair and equitable manner. We want local companies to be first choice for New Brunswick work. To ensure these same companies have opportunities outside of New Brunswick, the process must be managed fairly, and complaints of unfair practices must be quickly investigated and resolved.
The process of reducing regulatory red tape for businesses must be a constantly improving exercise. Between 2011 and 2014 we invested a great deal of time and effort on this. Our efforts resulted in an annual assessment from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business that saw our ratings improve from a C minus to a B minus. This positive trend has now been reversed.
Protecting our own extends beyond the business world. Within the civil service there must be a sense of ownership, and a sense of urgency when dealing with the public on all fronts.
I recall a particular request that came to the Finance Department early in our mandate. When the letter came to me for signature it said nothing more than: “not our department”.
I spoke to the individual who had written the response, and suggested they needed to connect with the appropriate department and include the answer. I only had to make this request once. To the individual asking the question, it was a response from government and it did not matter which department it came from.
Protecting our own is about creating a government that is a true partner for New Brunswickers.