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Conversation to Focus on the Challenges to Governing New Brunswick

Author: Communications

Posted on Apr 11, 2011

Category: Events , UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton

Elizabeth WeirIt’s been called a “failing province” by University of New Brunswick chancellor Richard J. Currie.  We know our population is aging and urbanizing, and we’re increasing our debt.  Our economy is stagnant.  We seem to be in serious trouble. How can we, the citizens of New Brunswick, help to turn the province around? “The Challenges We Face in Governing New Brunswick” is the subject of a conversation, organized by UNB, to be held on Tuesday, April 12, in Fredericton.  Moderated by Elizabeth Weir, president and CEO of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency of New Brunswick, and former leader of the New Brunswick NDP and MLA for Saint John Harbour, the event will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the new Fredericton Convention Centre on Queen Street. The highly respected author and oft-quoted speaker Donald Savoie, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance at the Université de Moncton, will lead off the program with a videotaped keynote interview.  Participants responding to his commentary will be Chris Baker, President of Continuum Research and former deputy minister; Don Desserud, well-known political commentator and director of the Urban and Community Studies Institute at UNB;  Leah Levac, Trudeau Scholar, UNB doctoral candidate and social activist; and Lise Ouellette, directrice générale of the Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick. Admission is free and open to the public.  Audience members will be encouraged to join in the discussion. The conversation will focus on the ways in which politicians, public servants and citizens of the province can help to address New Brunswick’s many challenges.  While governing the province is often viewed solely as the responsibility of elected officials, everyone living in the province has a role to play in the way New Brunswick is managed.  Participation in civic affairs, including voter turnout, has declined in recent years.  Re-energizing the citizens of New Brunswick will be a key theme of the conversation on April 12. This conversation is the fourth and final in a series called Changing New Brunswick and is part of UNB’s 225th anniversary activities. A continuation of the Next New Brunswick initiative begun by then-president John McLaughlin in 2004, the series focuses on issues of major importance to the past, present and future of the province.  Previous conversations looked at the legacy of Lord Beaverbrook, the future of universities in New Brunswick, and the importance of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet peoples to the future of the province. The Changing New Brunswick Conversation series is funded by a bequest from alumnus J. William Andrews, who graduated from UNB in 1952 with a degree in economics.  A native of Milltown, N.B., Mr. Andrews died in 2005 leaving one-quarter of his estate to his alma mater. - 30 – To speak with any of the participants, contact: Natasha Ashfield Email:  Natasha.Ashfield@unb.ca Phone: 506-458-7969