letter to blaine higgs

Letter to Premier Blaine Higgs

by New Brunswick Multicultural Council
April 23, 2020

Dear Premier Higgs,

Let us begin by first offering our sincere thanks for your strong leadership throughout the current Covid-19 crisis that we are collectively faced with as Canadians.

We are grateful and inspired by the commitment and collaboration shown across governments and throughout our communities. Everyone is doing their part and going above and beyond to ensure that New Brunswick comes through this in a way that strengthens us as people and a province.

There have been many articles, theories and roadmaps for recovery from Covid-19 and, at times, it is overwhelming.  There is no playbook to draw from and the task ahead daunting.

Over the past four weeks, a number of leaders representing businesses, not-for-profit and the immigration sector have been meeting weekly to share information, support each other and think about:

How can we collaborate to best contribute in a meaningful way that is helpful to government?

Through our learning and discovery as a group, we looked at the way forward as having three phases:

  1. Response – The government and communities’ response has been nothing short of amazing! We are so encouraged and grateful for the leadership and rapid response that has led New Brunswick’s risk level to be minimal. This has set us up to deal with the crisis effectively and to minimize the impact on New Brunswickers.
  2. Reopen – How we approach recovery will certainly be led by our Public Health experts and their global counterparts for how to best “re-open” our communities.
  3. Reimagine – Our group of leaders found solace in taking an hour a week to lift our hearts and minds from the day to day crisis and begin to think about how NB could emerge stronger and better.  The economic and financial fallout for government and communities will be like none that New Brunswick has likely ever experienced.  New Brunswick will have to operate differently and this time provides an opportunity for deep change in our province.

Reimagining NB: Prioritize and coordinate for swift action and delivery

Our group does not have all of the answers and, in fact, we do not have all of the right questions.

What we do have is a strong desire to participate in a reimagining of New Brunswick, along with our government, academic, business and community leaders.

Although there are many unknowns, we do know that we will have to prioritize for swift action and ensure that we have a provincially coordinated plan that clearly defines roles and ownership of key action plans.

In your view, how could a small group of cross sector leaders work on a short term basis, shoulder-to- shoulder with government to examine questions like:

Premier Higgs, please know that you have a network of partners that are keen to engage and bring our individual and collective strengths to an effort that supports your government.

We strongly believe that partnership and collaboration with the private sector, community sector, academia, and public sector will lay the groundwork for a faster recovery and a stronger long-term future for our province.  We recognize there are tough choices ahead, but there are also big opportunities.  Let us work together for a better New Brunswick.

We look forward to exploring opportunities to contribute with you and your team at the Government of New Brunswick.

Respectfully and with gratitude,