May 17th, 2024

Tourism workers union questions New Brunswick minister’s European trip

By The Canadian Press on May 9, 2024.

New Brunswick Tourism Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace appears at the legislature in Fredericton on May 9, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hina Alam

FREDERICTON – The union representing staff in New Brunswick’s Tourism Department says money spent by the tourism minister and her deputy on a European trip could have helped stave off staffing cuts at popular attractions in the province.

At a news conference today, CUPE Local 1190 president Jonathan Guimond said the $42,000 Tourism Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace and staff spent last September on a trip to France and the United Kingdom amounts to 2,000 additional hours his members could have worked.

Union member Mike Bravener, who works at King’s Landing outside Fredericton, says reduced staffing at the site means it sometimes feels more like a ghost town than the living history museum it is supposed to be.

He says the loss in hours is also causing anxiety among seasonal employees who depend on getting enough work to qualify for employment insurance in the off-season.

Scott-Wallace and deputy minister Yennah Hurley, along with two staff members, travelled to the United Kingdom and France from Sept. 8 to 15.

Their visit to Stonehenge, the British Museum, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Versailles, among other sites, has been denounced as extravagant by opposition parties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2024.

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