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UNBriefs: Provincial budget, UNB lawyers helping refugees, water troubles at UNB

Provincial Budget released

The provincial budget was released this week, detailing the Gallant government’s plans to address the provincial deficit.

Weeks ago the provincial finance minister Victor Boudreau released a strategic program review outlining the government’s option to increase revenue and decrease expenses.

Highway tollbooths, HST and corporate tax hikes, as well as cuts to the civil service, education and health services were all proposed as means a fighting the deficit. The province can also be expected to announce a series of smaller cuts to minor services in addition to the major options.

Gallant told New Brunswickers last week to expect an equal mix of cuts and revenue hikes.

These measures come alongside a reported $115 million in efficiencies the government claimed to have found last year.

Gallant also told audience members that education and health programs would not face major cuts.

The budget itself was released after the time of publication. Visit thebruns.ca for breaking coverage on this story.

Sponsorship support program opens UNB chapter

The Refugee Sponsorship Support Program is a new national organization aimed at helping refugees settle into Canada. The program brings together lawyers, professors, students and donors to provide free legal support to those seeking refugee sponsorships in the country

The UNB chapter was founded by law professor Hilary Young.

“The SSP was started in Ottawa by an amazing woman named Jennifer Bond, who happens to be a friend of mine. We clerked together at the Supreme Court of Canada a few years ago. When I heard she had started this practical and useful program, I was immediately interested in participating. I’ve been working with the national SSP office since the fall toward our first training session,” said Young.

UNB’s law faculty will host an SSP session in order to train lawyers to provide free legal support to families looking to sponsor families in their homes.

“The paperwork is complicated and sponsorship requests are often rejected because of improperly completed paperwork. Through this program, lawyers volunteer their time to help sponsoring groups complete the paperwork,” said Young.

The SSP currently has ten chapters across six provinces in the country. More chapters are in the early stages of development.

For more information go to www.refugeessp.ca.

Emergency Water repairs

Head Hall and the engineering complex had its water cut over the weekend to make way for emergency repairs to the water system.

Ron Shaddick, project coordinator for facilities management, sent out an email last week warning that water would be cut to the Old Electrical, Old Civil, New Engineering buildings and Gillin Hall.

This isn’t the first time the university has had troubles with its water.

In 2011 The Brunswickan reported that 18 percent of the water fountains on campus were found to have had levels of lead exceeding Health Canada’s guidelines. The lead was discovered by students doing fountain tests for a class assignment.

The university had to spend approximately $25,000, money it had not budgeted for, to replace the old fountains.

Shaddick was not available to comment on the nature of the emergency or the extent of the repairs.

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