N.B. Auditor General demands Centennial Building plan, gives another debt warning

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s auditor general is warning the province it needs to return to balanced budgets and control the growth in net debt.

In her report tabled Tuesday, Kim MacPherson notes the province came in with its seventh consecutive deficit last March and there are no long-term targets in place to curtail or reduce a net debt of more than $12 billion.

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MacPherson says there is no immediate risk of default but now is the time to address the province’s financial challenges.

She says the province needs to develop a comprehensive debt management strategy and make it public.

Refurbish or demolish: Centennial Building needs a plan

MacPherson also called out the province on being indecisive about the future the Centennial Building.

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The building opened in 1967 and centralized a number of government functions and departments close to the legislature.

Yet, over the last 10 years, MacPherson says a number of plans, analyses and business cases regarding the Centennial Building were produced, but none have been implemented.

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Offices were moved out of the building and into the newer, $50 million Chancery Place, across the street.

Now Centennial only has a 32 per cent occupancy rate, is deteriorating, not up to current building codes and has asbestos.

The refurbishment of the Centennial Building would cost an estimated $60 million.

With files from the Canadian Press

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