Property tax talk continues as N.B. legislature resumes
Published Tuesday, April 25, 2017 6:19PM ADT
Question period in the New Brunswick legislature picked up right where it left off on Tuesday. The province’s property tax controversy dominated debate as the legislature sat for the first time in three weeks.
"We recognize there are challenges, issues and problems with the current property tax assessment process, and that is why we’re taking very aggressive action to make sure they correct them," says Premier Brian Gallant.
The official opposition PC’s called on Gallant to resign over the controversy.
"The Premier has only one option, resign," says PC MLA Ross Wetmore.
Premier Gallant repeatedly referred to a review which will be carried out by retired Judge Joseph Robertson, looking at taxation years from 2011 to now.
"I think we owe it to Justice Robertson to do his work, Justice Robertson will ensure that all questions are answered through this review," says Gallant.
"Surely the Premier isn't seriously claiming that he needs a judicial review to tell him what he did last month," responded Blaine Higgs, leader of the PC opposition.
New numbers from the provincial government show more than 15,000 property tax appeals have been filed.
Tuesday’s resignation calls were coupled with election talk. The PC's say they want Brian Gallant to let the public have a say about the Government's handling of the property tax errors.
New Brunswick has a fixed election date of September 24, 2018, but the official opposition leader is challenging the Premier to call an election before that date.
"We'll be ready to go whenever the Premier feels inclined to. Mind you we have a fixed election term but if wants to go earlier, then have at it, we'll be there," says Higgs.
The provincial government says it could take until the very end of this year, or even next year, to complete the review of all the appeals that have been filed.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore.