Mayor Brad Woodside presents his annual State of the City

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Mayor Woodside in great spirits, presenting his speech on the State of the City.  Photo by Pierre Little

Mayor Brad Woodside tonight presented his annual State of the City event hosted by the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.  It was the mayor's 23 year presenting the address, which is attended quite heavily by the establishment in Fredericton.  The event was held at the Fredericton Convention Centre and was well attended. Very few seats where empty.

Woodside began by addressing members of the Provincial Government in attendance but the Premier, travelling back to New Brunswick from Houston TX, could not be in attendance.  Minister Stephen Horsemen, the Deputy Premier, was in attendance and was subject to many emphatics pleas from the mayor for the reinstatement of the unconditional municipal grant from the Province.  The City grant was cut by 1.3 million in 2013, and the same amount will be lost in 2014 and 2015.  The new provincial formula re-organizes funds for more rural and cash strapped municipalities. Reason for the change in provincial funding is the growth rate of the tax base in the larger cities. It stands at over 4.5%, which provides millions of extra dollars for these councils. The mayor expressed his displeasure with the former government's decision to cut the municipal grant funds.  Mayor Woodside said the cutting of the grant was unfair and that “Fredericton is being unfairly treated” based on funds formula and amounts calculated for the other municipalities like Moncton and Saint John.

The mayor rounded off his speech with success stories with Fredericton’s Resson Aerospace receiving 3 million in Venture Capital funds.

The highlight of the evening was the award given to Fredericton Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, Mrs. Leticia DeGante, owner of House of Stone, who immigrated from Mexico and who has been successful in starting several businesses in Fredericton. Degante also has DeGante Jewelry which sells silver jewelry made from artisans in Mexico.  DeGante mentioned her gratitude for the The Business Immigrant Mentorship Program, provided by the Chamber, which allows immigrant investors in the Fredericton region to learn about ‘Doing Business in New Brunswick”.


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