Scott Smith was looking for a way to support his community when a notice in the mail about an open position on the local board arrived.
He lived in the small, rural community of Rusagonis-Waasis, about 20 minutes outside Fredericton. Everyone in the town had various skills and helped each other out frequently.
Smith wanted to return the favour. He ran and won a seat on the board, where he served as chair several times and worked on various issues including recreation agreements and recycling programs.
After serving on the regional service commission with area mayors, Smith decided running for MLA would be his next step. Smith wants to tackle provincial debt and get involved “before it’s too late.”
“I have some real concerns with the direction of this government,” he said. “I see us taxing fewer and fewer people, more and more, for no benefit.”
New Brunswick’s provincial debt is rising faster than expected, and is projected to reach just under $14.5 billion by the end of next March.
Beyond debt and spending management, Smith said he is a strong proponent of the Progressive Conservative senior care and age-in-place proposal. For New Brunswick youth, Smith supports bringing back the tuition rebate program, which provided subsidies for students who remain in the province after graduation.
The Liberal government replaced the rebate system with free tuition for low-income New Brunswickers and a middle-class sliding-scale subsidy program.
Smith said these Liberal systems benefits substantially fewer New Brunswickers.
“We want every person in New Brunswick to have the right to attend a secondary education institution, and have that open to them,” he said.
Outside of politics, Smith is a longtime member of the UNB/Fredericton Judo Club and served on the board of Judo New Brunswick. He graduated from UNB in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.
Smith said he is approachable, will talk with anyone and is “all about inclusivity, equality and diversity for everyone.”
If elected, Smith intends to work with constituents in Fredericton South to find a permanent solution for the Sir Max Aitken Pool closure, preserve city heritage sites and ensure a fair provincial funding formula for UNB and St. Thomas University.
Smith said he tries to use “imagination”, creativity, and collaboration with constituents to solve problems.
“There’s people on our doorstep who have amazing ideas, backgrounds and experiences,” he said.