N.B. Premier commits to balancing budget with no tax increase in State of Province Addresss

New Brunswick's Tory premier is vowing to balance the current budget and next year's budget, without raising taxes, in an effort to get the province's finances under control and lessen reliance on federal transfers.

Blaine Higgs made the commitment Thursday night as he delivered his first state of the province address to a business audience in Fredericton.

New Brunswick has a net debt of 13.9 billion dollars and Higgs says the province pays seven cents out of every tax dollar in interest.

He said the province is too reliant on public money to keep the economy going, and it's a problem that must be corrected by growing the private economy.

Right now, 36 per cent of the provincial budget comes from federal transfer payments, and Higgs says federal funding needs to go to projects that drive the province forward and not just 50-50 funding for ribbon cuttings and good news announcements.

His comments come just a day after pulling the plug on financing for the 2021 Francophonie Games because of escalating costs and Ottawa's funding formula.