Property Tax Scandal - Higgs says Gallant directly lied to public to conceal his role

Since early March, Premier Brian Gallant has been trying to explain why Service New Brunswick Property Tax bills had frabricated renovation amounts on 2400 home owner bills.  This action created an artifice for the government to bypase the Property Spike protection law.  This spike protection was implemented by the previous PC government to cap any spikes in assessments by 10% in any given year.

The resulting action by SNB allowed for fraudulent bills to be mailed to home owners and caused tremendous shock and anger on the sudden increase in taxes. Confusion ensued from irate home owners with calls requesting extension to the deadline for payment. The revolt from New Brunswickers forced the Liberals to extend the deadline, allowing for appeals to be processed.  CTV News Atlantic is reporting the deadline remains on May 31 for those who have not filed an appeal.

Premier Gallant with Minister for SNB, Ed Doherty apologised at a strange press conference held in Moncton at Hotel Beausejour.  “I sincerely apologize to all New Brunswickers,” said Doherty.  No resignation were forthcoming which the PCs say is contrary to norms under our Westminster system government.  This system requires ministers to resign when a scandal has occured under his or her watch.

In the video below on May 4, during a CBC Fredericton Political panel, opposition Leader, Blain Higgs, stated what occured on the Property Tax scandal by the Liberals.   Higgs stated that he sees this orchastrated by the Premier approving the fast track of SNB's Real Market Value tax project a year earlier.  SNB was attempting to quickly increase the real market value of homes based on Real Estate sales.  This would allow a large increase in tax revenues in government coffers.  The Premier blamed SNB for the problems and with subsequent leaks from SNB, the leaked documents showed he was responsible and not SNB. He actually approved the fast tracking measures contrary to his public statements, (see SNB leaked document here: first paragraph). His denials of involvement were reported by CBC News on April 6, "These ideas that it was blessed by the premier's office — pushed by the premier's office — completely unfounded," said Gallant.  Higgs has publically stated several times Premier Gallant lied to the public regarding his role and he should resign.

History may be repeating itself. Premier Gallant had difficulty answering a question regarding the intended changes by the Liberals to the abortion regulations in the province. On December 3, 2014 after the throne speech, he stated there are no text changes regarding new abortion regulations in New Brunswick.  Infact there were textual changes.  Changes were done over Christmas break. Opposition leaders felt this precluded any real scrutiny by the public on the changes.

Premier releases text on Abortion changes over holidays precluding debate

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