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N.B. auditor general sees signs of improved finances but says more work needed

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick announces $480-million surplus during fiscal update' New Brunswick announces $480-million surplus during fiscal update
Government of New Brunswick officials announced they are expecting $832 million more than they budgeted for. That brings the province to a projected surplus of more than $480 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year. Suzanne Lapointe breaks down the mixed results to the third-quarter results. – Feb 15, 2022

New Brunswick’s auditor general says there are signs of continued fiscal progress in the province.

Paul Martin released two volumes of his annual report today and says while it’s encouraging that the net debt dropped to $13.5 billion in 2021, it’s still $3.4 billion higher than it was in 2012.

Read more: New Brunswick government hesitant to use projected surplus on aid programs

Meanwhile Martin says he found a number of examples of unclear mandates or direction from the provincial government.

He says the Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development has not communicated a clear mandate to NB Power concerning energy efficiency.

Read more: Finance minister credits federal transfers for keeping New Brunswick in the black

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He says the department has not set measurable energy saving targets for the utility.

Martin says he also found that salary and benefit packages provided by certain Crown agencies were not consistent with what employees in government or other Crown agencies were receiving.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2022.

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