Sent to the Media for Immediate Release
On April 24, 2022, the honorable Blaine Higgs attended a live Coffee Chat put on by the New Brunswick Coalition of Persons with Disabilities, a grassroots organisation that proclaims being the voice of people with disabilities in this province. Feeling a bit deflated by seeing its members trying to live on a meager $832.00 per month and never knowing what to tell them about the added challenges they must face due to living well below the poverty line, they sent Premier Higgs a letter. He was invited to the weekly (virtual) “NBCPD Coffee Chat”, in an attempt to get some answers for the members – these people who live with all types of disabilities ranging from invisible to visible to mental health. The Chair of the coalition, Shelley Petit, eloquently explained to him that after members have paid their necessities (and this is if they are lucky enough to have a subsidized apartment – which most do not), they barely had twenty dollars left to their name. “Tell me”, she said, “how are they supposed to live on $20 per month?”. Without skipping a beat, the Honorable Blaine Higgs responded “I don’t know. I don’t know how they live on $20 a month”. And yet. Here we are. 520 days later. With an inflation rate that continues to increase month over month, a one-billion-dollar surplus and rumours of an early election that will cost New Brunswickers millions of dollars, and what do people with disabilities have today that they didn’t have on April 24, 2022? Thirty-two dollars ($32.00) more per month. After admitting that he didn’t know HOW anybody could live off that amount, 521 days later he still has done nothing to lift people with disabilities out of deep poverty. Let’s not forget that the last early NB election called by the Higgs government cost New Brunswickers a whopping $11,548,777 and this was BEFORE inflation started wreaking havoc throughout the country. People with disabilities represent 26.7% of the population of New Brunswick. Mr. Higgs, these people will be going to poles.
Encl: Video from NBCPD Coffee Chat – A Conversation with Blaine Higgs