by Chris Wanamaker
When Saint John resident Josh Floyd started a petition on Change.org demanding the resignation of New Brunswick’s premier, he had no idea that the signatures would grow as quickly as they have. Within days the count reached 10,000 and at the time of this writing it is still growing.
The petition calls for Premier Higgs to resign because, in Floyd’s view, he refuses to offer unionized workers a fair wage; he opposes revenue sharing and treaty land rights for indigenous people; and he has become soft on Covid-19, allowing for large gatherings of people despite more effective restrictions in the early days of the pandemic that limited the spread of the virus.
The infection and death rates in New Brunswick due to Covid have risen more now than at any point since the pandemic began, Floyd said.
When he started the petition, Floyd thought he might elicit a few hundred signatures from his friends and allies in the NDP, but the number quickly skyrocketed. “It was a complete shock to me,” he said. “It’s the first major petition I have really put energy into.”
He knows a large number of union members have signed, but also people from across the political spectrum.
“Lots of average, everyday New Brunswickers have shared it and tweeted about it,” he said.Josh Floyd, who ran for MP and MLA in the last federal and provincial elections and who is an active member of Socialist Action Canada, would like to see the mainstream media put the resignation question to Mr. Higgs directly, by asking “how do you respond to this Mr. Higgs?”
“Maybe that would make him more willing to talk and go back to the bargaining table,” he said.
Floyd added that enough is enough with Mr. Higgs’ austerity practices. “Why don’t we have a $15 minimum wage like other provinces such as Alberta and BC that are going in this direction?”
As he considers Mr. Higgs’ threat to implement back to work legislation, Josh Floyd says he is considering creating a second petition in favour of a general strike.
“We need to elect a premier who is willing to sit there and listen to what the people have to say,” he said.