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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:56 am    Post subject: New Brunswick Provincial Election on September 24 Reply with quote

( the provincial election in New Brunswick is now officially underway , tight numbers in the legislature although liberals appear to have somewhat of an advantage going into campaign. the pc's have a new leader but not a lot of money . as for the left , not much of an ndp presence in New Brunswick although there is 1 green mla . )

The campaign for the Sept. 24 New Brunswick election is officially underway

Kim Poffenroth
New Brunswick’s Chief Electoral Officer Kim Poffenroth says the mechanisms to be used this fall have passed more recent electoral tests.

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, August 23, 2018 6:30AM EDT

FREDERICTON -- The New Brunswick provincial election campaign is officially underway.

Chief Electoral Officer Kimberly Poffenroth signed the writs yesterday to set the wheels in motion for the vote set for Sept. 24.

The economy, energy, trade, and health care are expected to be among the major issues debated door to door as candidates vie for the 49 seats in the provincial legislature.

The campaigning has been underway for some time, but now all the campaign signs will go up, and more promises made.

Liberal Premier Brian Gallant makes a campaign announcement today in Moncton, while Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs makes an announcement in Tracyville, near Fredericton.

The leaders of the Green and People's Alliance parties are campaigning in the Fredericton area, while the New Democrats launch their campaign in front of the provincial legislature.

At dissolution the Liberals had 24 seats, the Progressive Conservatives 22, there was one Green and one Independent, and one vacant seat.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Brunswick's political parties revving their engines ahead of writ drop

Published Wednesday, August 22, 2018 3:03PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 22, 2018 7:24PM ADT

FREDERICTON -- The parties are ready, the signs are printed and the buses are fuelled up.

The campaign for New Brunswick's provincial election officially begins Thursday with the writ drop.

Chief electoral officer Kimberly Poffenroth signed the 49 writs Wednesday, which are dated for Aug. 23.


Kim Poffenroth
Chief electoral officer Kimberly Poffenroth signed the 49 writs Wednesday, which are dated for Thursday, Aug. 23.

"This gets the whole process in motion," she said as she put her signature to a total of 96 pages -- one English and one French -- for each of the 49 ridings.

Several parties have already been putting up campaign office signs, making promises and rolling out their buses as they vie for support in the Sept. 24 vote.

Liberal Premier Brian Gallant, who launched his bus campaign Sunday, said in Saint John Wednesday that if re-elected, his government would remain focused on growing and strengthening the province's trade relations.

He said that includes strengthening the trading relationship with the United States and defending the New Brunswick forestry industry in the wake of what he called "unwarranted tariffs imposed by the United States."

"In a more protectionist climate, we must work together to grow New Brunswick's export-oriented businesses," he said.

Gallant said his government would work to diversify international export markets and reduce barriers to internal trade within Canada.

"We will invest to help New Brunswick businesses innovate so they can send their products and services to markets around the world in a competitive way," Gallant said.

But one disgruntled labour group isn't happy with the Liberal government and plans to be vocal and visible during the election campaign.

About 50 members of CUPE Local 1190 staged a noisy demonstration in front of the main government office building in Fredericton Wednesday.

Joey Kelly, the union's provincial treasurer, said the group wants a resumption of their contract talks with the province after negotiations broke off last week.

"We want the employer back to the table and we're just asking them to negotiate the monetary items and a fair wage," he said.

Kelly said the union wants pay for casual employees increased to 100 per cent, from the 80 per cent they're at now.

"Essentially they're working five days a week and getting paid for four. We've been trying for three contracts now to get them up to 100 per cent."

Kelly said talks could be on hold until after the election because provincial negotiators said they have no monetary mandate from the government.

He said the union will lobby every political party during the election.

The Progressive Conservatives and Greens have launched their campaigns. The New Democrats have scheduled their campaign launch for noon Thursday in front of the provincial legislature. So far they have only nominated about 33 of their candidates for the 49 ridings.

Most pundits say voters won't pay much attention to the campaign until after the Labour Day weekend.

The parties have until Sept. 4 to submit their candidates to Elections New Brunswick, but Poffenroth said voters can cast their ballot as early as Thursday by special ballot at returning offices.

There will be 50 returning offices -- one in each of the 49 ridings, plus a satellite office on Grand Manan Island.

Poffenroth said electronic tabulation machines will be used again this election, despite a major technical glitch on election night in 2014 that held up results for hours.

She said the problem was not with the tabulation machines, but rather with a software program that was supposed to transfer all the results.

Poffenroth said that software has been replaced, and the system has worked perfectly during municipal elections and two provincial byelections since 2014.

She said there are also a number of levels at which the results are validated.

"We have a multi-step process including a software validation to ensure there is no corruption in that data as it gets posted to the website," she said.

Poffenroth said it's hard to estimate when all the results will be known, because anyone in the line-up at 8 p.m. when the polls close is entitled to vote.

At dissolution the Liberals had 24 seats in the legislature, the Progressive Conservatives had 22, there was one Green and one Independent, and there was one vacant seat.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some facts and figures in the 2018 New Brunswick election campaign

The Canadian Press
Updated: August 22, 2018

FREDERICTON — Facts about the New Brunswick election campaign, which officially begins Thursday.

Election date: Sept. 24.

Major parties: Green, Liberal, New Democratic Party, Progressive Conservative, People’s Alliance

Leaders: Premier Brian Gallant (Liberal) Blaine Higgs (Progressive Conservative), David Coon (Green), Jennifer McKenzie (NDP), and Kris Austin (People’s Alliance)

Ridings: 49

Standings at dissolution: Liberal 24, Progressive Conservative 22, Green 1, Ind. 1, Vacant 1, NDP 0.

Main campaign issues: finances, jobs, healthcare.

Most recent general election: Sept. 22, 2014.

Number of eligible voters in 2014: 577,529 (may include duplicate names)

Number of eligible voters who voted in 2014: 373,361


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

August 22, 2018 3:57 pm

Where the leaders are in the N.B. election

By Staff The Canadian Press

Where the leaders are Thursday, Aug. 23, as the New Brunswick election campaign begins:

Liberals: Brian Gallant will make a 9 a.m. campaign announcement at Fairfield Inn, 26 Marriott Dr., Moncton., and later makes stops in Saint John, St. Stephen and Fredericton.

Progressive Conservatives: Blaine Higgs makes a campaign announcement at 11 a.m. at Marwood, 3307 Route 101 Tracyville, and then campaigns in Moncton.

Green: David Coon tours the York Nursing Home in Fredericton in the morning, then attends the Garrison Market in Fredericton Thursday evening.

New Democrats: Jennifer McKenzie launches the provincial NDP campaign at noon in front of the legislature in Fredericton, then campaigns in Saint John.

People’s Alliance: Kris Austin campaigns in the riding of Fredericton – Grand Lake, and then works at the provincial campaign office in Fredericton.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Opposition says governing Liberals trying to 'bribe' voters

CTV Atlantic
Published Monday, July 30, 2018 10:35PM ADT
Last Updated Monday, July 30, 2018 10:37PM ADT

The New Brunswick election is two months away and the campaigning is underway.

The governing Liberals continue to make regular funding announcements which they claim aren't related to the fall election, but other parties believe the Liberals are trying to “buy” the election.

“I think people see these announcements for what they are,” said New Brunswick NDP leader Jennifer MacKenzie. “They are bribes for the people of New Brunswick using their own money.”

Jennifer MacKenzie
“They are bribes for the people of New Brunswick using their own money,” said New Brunswick NDP leader Jennifer MacKenzie.

New Brunswick's finance minister says there's nothing unusual about the recent spate of funding announcements.

“We've been investing steadily for four years,” said Cathy Rogers.

When asked if her party's campaigning had begun, Rogers had this to say.

“Our top priorities are growing the economy and jobs and investing in the quality of life of New Brunswickers,” she said. “Making sure businesses have access to a skilled and stable labour force. So, if you want to call that campaigning, we’ve been campaigning for four years.”

A poll released last week by Main Street Research shows the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives are in a statistical dead heat with support for both just under 40 per cent.

With the governing Liberals sitting with a minority government, every vote is going to count.

Progressive Conservative finance critic Bruce Fitch says this type of pre-election spending hurts the province.

“We can't afford this government for the next four years,” said Fitch. “Every election cycle, parties outbid one another and that's what's got us into the ditch financially and I think it’s irresponsible for a government to continue to make those announcements, continue to make those promises regardless of the budget they put forward.”

Time will tell whether campaign-style announcements will have any effect when New Brunswickers head to the polls.

The election writ can be issued on Aug. 23, with New Brunswick’s 39th general election scheduled for Sept. 24. It promises to be an interesting couple of months


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This election could easily end with 24 PC's and 24 Liberals with David Coon (The Leader of the Greens) holding the balance of power.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Health care issues expected to dominate New Brunswick election campaign Friday

The Canadian Press
Published Friday, August 24, 2018 7:22AM EDT

FREDERICTON -- Health care is expected to dominate the New Brunswick election campaign today.

Liberal Premier Brian Gallant makes a health care announcement at 9 a.m., using Fredericton's Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital as a backdrop.

Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs is set to make an aging care announcement in Moncton, while the New Democrat's Jennifer McKenzie visits a hospice in Saint John.

NB election leaders
Liberal Leader Brian Gallant, Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs, and the New Democrat's Jennifer McKenzie are shown in this composite photo. (The Canadian Press)

The other leaders are campaigning in their ridings.

Yesterday, the Liberals made a campaign promise to spend another $150 million on infrastructure projects in the province, while the Tories pledged to give New Brunswick companies a greater advantage in getting government contracts.

The provincial election is set for Sept. 24.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Brunswick voters offered a choice between contrasting leaders, policies

Published Thursday, August 23, 2018 11:29AM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, August 23, 2018 7:03PM ADT

They are polar opposites on politics and personalities -- and nearly three decades apart in age.

Yet polls suggest New Brunswickers haven't yet chosen between Liberal Brian Gallant and Progressive Conservative Blaine Higgs, who have 32 days to campaign before the polls open Sept. 24.

After weeks of spending announcements and political positioning, the election campaign officially began Thursday.

Brian Gallant
New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant is described as a boyish-looking incumbent, a big spender who stands up for gender equality and social justice, observers say.

For the first time in nearly a decade, the New Brunswick election isn't defined by a single referendum-style issue at the outset. Without a controversial topic galvanizing the electorate -- like shale gas development or the sale of a public utility -- pundits say voters are largely left with a choice between two leaders.

There's the boyish-looking incumbent, a big spender who stands up for gender equality and social justice, observers say.

Then there's the retired Irving executive, a former finance minister who exudes experience and budgetary restraint.

"Gallant, we have to say it, he's handsome, he looks good, he's charming and he's young," says Gabriel Arsenault, a political science professor at the Universite de Moncton.

"He's more left wing ... he paints himself as more environmentally conscious and concerned with social justice," he says, pointing to the Liberal government's ban on hydraulic fracturing or recent investments in childcare and free university tuition for students from low-income families.

The 64-year-old Tory leader, meanwhile, is portrayed as an antidote to the 36-year-old leader of the Grits, pundits say.

"Higgs is painting himself as fiscally responsible ... the more experienced and perhaps wiser, more knowledgeable choice," Arsenault says.

Yet despite their differences, polls suggest the two leaders are in a tight race.

Gallant appears to hold a narrow lead -- although a Corporate Research Associates poll released Thursday suggests the Liberal advantage is in the double digits. Still, most polling data and provincial pundits suggest it's a toss up whether voters will hand Gallant a second mandate or defeat a third one-term premier in a row.

The polling numbers underscore the importance of the five-week election campaign to securing a victory.

"It is unclear what the mood is," says Jamie Gillies, political scientist professor at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. "Perhaps the Liberal government has enough support to survive and be reelected."

Yet with two consecutive one-term governments prior to 2014, "the campaign dynamics will play a key role over the next few weeks," he says.

In the past, the battle for the New Brunswick legislature has often been waged over a single issue.

In 2010, widespread anger over the proposed sale of NB Power to Hydro-Quebec lead to the ousting of then-Premier Shawn Graham after one term.

Then in 2014, the government of David Alward was defeated over opposition to shale gas development.

"Unlike the last two elections, there is no single issue dominating the provincial political landscape," Gillies says.

Still, the Gallant government has made some blunders over the last four years that could influence the election, observers say.

The Liberal government faced public outcry for failing to act on concerns that leaking sewage was potentially causing fecal contamination in the water at Parlee Beach Provincial Park, one of the most popular beaches on the East Coast.

Gallant also came under fire over a property-tax assessment scandal when a new digital assessment system unfairly inflated property tax bills for thousands of homeowners.

More recently, the Liberal government said it would uphold controversial Crown land timber allocations given to New Brunswick's forestry companies by the previous Tory government.

Political scientist Mario Levesque says Gallant's perceived lack of accountability and transparency could be an issue on the campaign trail.

The Mount Allison University professor says Gallant has a track record of denying a problem and obfuscating rather than "coming clean right off the bat."

"I don't think Gallant has earned a second term, but I think he'll get it by default because (voters) don't like the opponents," Levesque says.

"We're in a huge leadership vacuum. If you think of the Robichaud days or the McKenna days or even the first few years of the Hatfield days -- I mean there's leadership."

Another side issue that is likely to play out in the election is the split along linguistic lines.

Historical voting patterns in New Brunswick have often seen francophone areas favour Liberal candidates while anglophone areas lean toward the Progressive Conservatives.

Roger Ouellette, a political science professor at the Universite de Moncton, says it remains to be seen whether Gallant will play the "linguistic card."

He also says younger voters are more likely to vote for Gallant and the Liberals, while older voters appear to lean towards Higgs and the Conservatives.

But voters have other choices, with the Green Party, the NDP and the People's Alliance of New Brunswick all fielding candidates.

The Green Party broke through in 2014, electing David Coon in Fredericton South. And Kris Austin, leader of the People's Alliance, lost by fewer than 30 votes during the last election and is running again.

Although it's unlikely a third party could threaten the established order, Gillies explains that it could "affect the balance of power if the election is razor thin."

It's also possible a defining issue could yet come to the fore.

J.P. Lewis, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, says the Tories could try to pin the failure of the Energy East pipeline on Gallant.

Also, in a province with the lowest median income in Canada, he says Higgs could be portrayed as a steady hand with financial acumen.

"They could try to make his running in the election an altruistic case," Lewis says. "Higgs doesn't need to do this, he could be comfortably retired. The party could try to show him as in it for you, not for himself."

Levesque says if Gallant starts to fall behind, he has a potential "ace in the hole."

"If polls start going south for Gallant, expect to see his wife on the trail with him and photo ops all over the place," he says.

"Everyone loves a young, fresh family."


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where the leaders are in the N.B. election on Monday, Aug. 27

CTV Atlantic: New Brunswick election
New Brunswick political parties have leaped into campaign mode

Published Sunday, August 26, 2018 6:35PM ADT

FREDERICTON - Where the leaders are on Monday, Aug. 27, as the New Brunswick election campaign continues:

Liberals: Brian Gallant will make a platform announcement at the Saint John Social Enterprise Hub at 139 Prince Edward St., Saint John at 10 a.m. Afterwards, he will travel on his campaign bus, making stops in Hanwell, Fredericton, and Minto.

Progressive Conservatives: Blaine Higgs will make a campaign announcement at 9 a.m. at 110 St. George Blvd. in Moncton. At 12:30 p.m., he will visit Kredls Corner Market at 1171 Main St., Hampton, with Progressive Conservative MLA Gary Crossman. He will then attend his own nomination event at 7 p.m. at Kings Church at 332 Hampton Rd., Quispamsis.

Greens: David Coon will hold a press conference launching the party's platform at 11 a.m. at the party's Fredericton campaign headquarters at 155 Smythe St. At 6 p.m., he will canvas his own riding in Fredericton South.

New Democrats: Jennifer McKenzie will make an announcement at 1:30 p.m. about home-care services at a senior's home at 231 Princess St., Saint John. She will then canvas in Saint John.

People's Alliance: Kris Austin will spend most of the day canvassing in the Fredericton-Grand Lake riding.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

August 27, 2018 7:48 am

Elections New Brunswick says there will be no technical glitches on election night

By Alexander Quon
Online Producer/Reporter Global News

New Brunswick's chief electoral officer says that the technical issues that plagued the province's 2014 election will not happen again. Kim Poffenroth says that a transmission issue that delayed the release of official results has since been fixed.

Elections New Brunswick is promising that there will be no technical glitches on their end come election night.

“I’m confident that all issues that arose in 2014 have been addressed,” said Kim Poffenroth, New Brunswick’s chief election officer on Thursday.

The 2014 election saw malfunctioning software cause issues tallying votes — ultimately delaying the release of the election’s final results by two hours.

Officials say there was never a problem with the tabulation machines themselves but that it was a program processing the initial results that had a glitch.

The program failed to properly transfer polling data from a computer server in Fredericton to a website where media outlets were gathering results.

The software was used to get the results to the media as quickly as possible.

Some votes disappeared from the website during the delay, which prompted speculation about the validity of the election.

Despite the glitches, the final vote counts were accurate.

Poffenroth says that since the 2014 election, the province has moved to a new system and implemented a new data validation process.

“We’ve run a provincewide municipal election with the new systems in place and had no problems,” she said.

New Brunswickers head to the polls on Sept. 24.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the most controversial issue of the NB election so far , Jason Kenney ? seriously I've never considered him to be a hard core social conservative and its normal for provincial pc leaders to be seen with each other )

N.B. Liberals question Tory leader campaigning with Alberta's Jason Kenney

Blaine Higgs
Blaine Higgs, MLA and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick looks on in the Legislature in Fredericton, N.B., on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Stephen MacGillivray)

The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, August 26, 2018 3:44PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 26, 2018 6:25PM EDT

FREDERICTON -- A Liberal candidate vying for a seat in New Brunswick's upcoming election is ringing alarm bells about the Progressive Conservative leader's ties to Jason Kenney -- concerns Blaine Higgs is brushing off as overblown.

Liberal candidate Brent Mazerolle said he wants to know if Higgs supports some of the views expressed by the leader of Alberta's United Conservative Party, who has drawn criticism in the past for some of his socially conservative beliefs.

"We're 29 days out (from the election) and we still, as New Brunswickers, aren't sure where Mr. Higgs stands on a lot of issues," said Mazerolle.

Kenney was to join Higgs at a fundraiser Sunday evening and a campaign announcement Monday morning.

Kenney drew criticism last year for saying he would like to have parents notified if their child joined a gay-straight alliance at school, in cases where joining could put the child in harm's way.

But after party members voted at their founding policy convention in May to essentially out students who join so-called GSAs, Kenney said he wouldn't implement the policy if his party forms government.

Mazerolle, a former schoolteacher, said Kenney's original stance stuck with him. The Liberal candidate for Riverview said LGBTQ youth need to have a safe place outside their homes if their parents don't accept them.

"Potentially outing schoolchildren in their one safe place in their life, that's not a gay issue, that's a safety issue," he said.

"Kids who are struggling with these issues, they're in serious danger a lot of the time in certain communities."

Mazerolle also said he doesn't know where Higgs stands on the issue of abortion, which Kenney is against, although he's said he won't legislate on the issue.

In a phone interview, Higgs chalked his meetings with Kenney up to a matter of business and said the Liberals are "trying to make issues where none exists."

He said he believes it's important to liaise with other political leaders in the country, especially during an election.

"I respect everyone's views, and their own personal beliefs, and I think that's what makes our province and our country strong," said Higgs.

"It isn't for me to get in the middle of those personal discussions, and that isn't the discussion I'm going to have with Jason Kenney. We're going to be talking about issues that affect our country."

Higgs accused the Liberal government of playing politics and said there are bigger issues at play in New Brunswick, including the economy and how the province should address carbon pricing.

"Regardless of one's political views, there's a lot of centric issues here," said Higgs.

Thomas Bateman, a political science professor at Fredericton's St. Thomas University, said the Liberals' criticism of the Tory leader's ties with Kenney could be an attempt to pull centrist voters to their side.

Bateman said he believes the New Brunswick Tories could have Kenney on the election trail to support Higgs's stance on hydraulic fracturing. In the past Higgs has said he would be willing to revisit the province's moratorium on fracking in some regions.

Kenney "undoubtedly would tout the benefits of natural resource exploitation for New Brunswick, because it's worked so very well in Alberta," said Bateman.

"I can't say this for sure, but I suspect the conservatives might want to emphasize the need for natural gas development in the province -- which would require fracking -- and Mr. Kenney might be witness number one to suggest it is environmentally manageable and economically very promising."

Health care and senior care remain as top issues this election season. Liberal leader Brian Gallant announced Sunday that a re-elected party would recruit more staff and increase hours of care in nursing homes, just a day after he pledged to build three new nursing homes and add 86 memory-care beds throughout the province.

Higgs, meanwhile, took a less bricks-and-mortar approach to senior care, saying a Progressive Conservative government would consult with seniors about how they want to live and provide supports so they can remain in their own homes longer.

The Green party, led by David Coon, will launch its campaign platform Monday morning.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

N.B. Tories confirm opposition to provincial carbon levy if elected

Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, August 27, 2018 1:30PM EDT

MONCTON, N.B. -- New Brunswick's Tory leader has officially joined forces with his counterparts in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta, promising that his government won't bring in a carbon tax on consumers if elected on Sept. 24.

Progressive Conservative leader Blaine Higgs said Monday that he believes a Tory government would "meet its obligations to the environment" with methods other than raising levies on consumers, but he was not clear in a news release on what precisely that means.

Ottawa has said the provinces must place a levy on carbon and that this tax should be sufficient to meet the federal government plans for carbon reduction.

The federal government has said that if provinces don't place the levy on consumers aimed at reducing their consumption of fossil fuels, Ottawa will do so, and Ottawa will then have final say in how the revenue-neutral tax is funnelled back to the taxpayers in New Brunswick.

Higgs has been on the record saying he would join with other Conservative governments in opposing Ottawa's carbon emissions law in the courts.

"A Blaine Higgs government believes we can meet our obligations to the environment without digging deeper into taxpayers' wallets," says the news released issued Monday.

"We will develop a comprehensive plan to ensure we are reducing our emissions output and providing incentives for green energy and green technology development."

The Liberal government in New Brunswick hasn't imposed a provincial carbon tax on consumers, but it has turned to Ottawa to regulate the industrial side of carbon emissions.

The Liberals are taking a portion of the existing excise tax on gasoline and are dedicating it towards a climate change fund, however this approach hasn't been accepted by Ottawa yet as adequately meeting its plan.

Premier Brian Gallant said Monday that the legal route being threatened by Higgs is unrealistic.

"The court case, we don't think has much chance of succeeding, which means that Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives are accepting a federal backstop, which I think is a mistake, for us," he said.

"The plan we put forward will phase out coal by 2030, will ask large corporations who are the largest emitters to pay their fair share when it comes to the emissions they are putting out, and we will ensure there not be one cent more on the consumers of our province."

Meanwhile, the third-place Green Party officially launched its campaign platform at its Fredericton headquarters on Monday, with leader David Coon calling it "Our Pathway for Change."

It included a wide range of policies aimed at reducing carbon consumption.

A party spokeswoman said the party has already accepted that a federal Liberal plan is going ahead for adding a consumer levy on carbon consumption and a Green Party government would work with the federal government on how the money raised will be spent in New Brunswick.

The party's campaign platform says there would be a cap set on industrial carbon emissions, major increases to public transportation, and support for the building of infrastructure to "support walking and cycling lifestyles."

The party, which has a single seat in the legislature, would also prohibit the extraction of shale gas, require that half of electricity is produced by renewable energy for 2025, and provide financing to homeowners and businesses to convert from oil and gas to local sources of renewable energy.

Louise Comeau, a University of New Brunswick research associate on climate issues, says regardless of which party takes power there is a need to find ways to protect New Brunswickers from the impact of climate change -- and to take measures to reduce carbon consumption by consumers.

She notes that climate change has been taking a toll already on the province through flooding, heat waves that are hitting agriculture, and coastal surges, and that the province will need revenues to cope with climate adaptation.

"The actions we're taking are inadequate to protect our people. We all need to step up, and that's the challenge and concern and frustration I feel after 30 years of working on this issue," she said.

"I wish we were having a more mature conversation about how our province is going to be resilient in the face of climate change."

Meanwhile, the provincial Liberals said Monday if they're re-elected they will increase the minimum wage to $14 per hour by 2022.

The first increase would come on April 1, 2019, when a 75 cent raise would increase minimum pay to $12 hourly.

The Gallant government has raised the minimum wage four times since 2014, representing a 12.5 per cent increase.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Brunswick Tories say election will be 'a referendum on carbon tax'

Published Tuesday, August 28, 2018 8:06AM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 28, 2018 3:01PM ADT

FREDERICTON -- New Brunswick's Tory leader is aiming to make the federally mandated carbon tax the defining issue of the campaign for the Sept. 24 provincial election.

"I think this election is going to be a referendum on carbon tax. There will be other issues but that certainly will be a main one," Blaine Higgs said Tuesday.

Higgs said he'll refund any carbon tax levied on consumers by Ottawa, by using federal funding to bring in equivalent tax cuts under provincial control.

Blaine Higgs
New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs speaks at his official nomination in Quispamsis, N.B., on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/James West)

He made the announcement in a followup to Monday's campaign pledge that, should he win the election, he'll oppose the carbon levy the federal government is requiring.

"We are saying we are taxed enough. We are not going to be putting this on and we're going to stop this carbon tax debate and we're going to work with other provinces to see that it doesn't happen," Higgs said, joining forces with his counterparts in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Their approach mirrors their Tory cousins in Ottawa. In a speech to the federal party's convention last week in Halifax, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promised that his first act as prime minister would be to get rid of the federal government's carbon tax scheme.

A federal vote is scheduled for October 21, 2019.

Ottawa has said the provinces must place a levy on carbon, and that it should be sufficient to meet federal plans for carbon reduction.

The Trudeau government has said that if provinces don't place a levy on consumers aimed at reducing their consumption of fossil fuels, Ottawa will do so, and Ottawa will then have final say in how the revenue-neutral tax is funnelled back to provincial taxpayers.

The New Brunswick Liberals under Premier Brian Gallant have said they'll take a portion of the existing excise tax on gasoline and dedicate it towards a climate change fund, although it is unclear whether that will meet Ottawa's requirements.

"For us, what's important is that we play our role to fight climate change in a way that respects New Brunswick's economic realities, challenges and opportunities," Gallant said Monday.

"The plan we've put forward will phase out coal by 2030, will ask the largest emitters to pay their fair share when it comes to the emissions they're putting out, and we will ensure there will not be one cent more on consumers in our province."

Higgs has said a Tory government would take other measures to ensure New Brunswick will "continue to meet or exceed our emission targets" for carbon and other greenhouse gases, though few specifics have been released to date.

Gallant said the Progressive Conservative don't have a real plan.

"Their lack of a plan demonstrates they don't take climate change seriously. Also, they are, for political reasons, neglecting to put a plan forward that will protect consumers in our province," Gallant said.

Higgs is critical of the Liberal plan, saying that redirecting gas tax revenues will cut funding that has been going to municipalities for infrastructure.

"We don't need new taxes on the people of New Brunswick. We are taxed-out now. We are going to spend within the money we have today and we're going to get better results," Higgs said.

Greg Byrne, a spokesman for the New Brunswick Liberal Association, said the Tory plan would cause a provincial budget shortfall of over $380 million, and said it would likely be offset by deep cuts in education and healthcare.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail Tuesday, Gallant said if his government is re-elected, it will create five non-urgent care centres to reduce emergency room wait times and improve primary care. Less urgent cases would be advised to visit a non-urgent care centre.

The centres would be established in the Saint John area, greater Moncton, Fredericton region, and two in northern New Brunswick.

New Democratic Party Leader Jennifer McKenzie said if her party was elected, it would commit to saving a not-for-profit nursing home system. She said the province needs to say no to for-profit nursing homes.

McKenzie also said she'd increase funding to boost the level of care for nursing home residents from 3.1 hours per day to 3.5 hours.

And federal Green Leader Elizabeth May was in the province helping to campaign in the riding of Memramcook-Tantramar. She travels to Fredericton Wednesday.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Brunswick election: Where the leaders are Wednesday

Published Wednesday, August 29, 2018 7:54AM ADT

FREDERICTON -- Where the leaders are Wednesday, Aug. 29, as the New Brunswick election campaign continues:

Liberals: Brian Gallant is expected to make an early morning campaign stop in Sussex, followed by a 10 a.m. announcement in Moncton on energy at a private residence at 97 Reade St. The Liberal bus then makes stops in Baie Sainte Anne, Allardville and Edmundston .

Progressive Conservatives: Blaine Higgs makes a campaign announcement at 10 a.m. at Christian Larocque Services on Highway 113 in Lameque. At 11:10 a.m. he visits Cafe Tazza in Shippagan. At noon he attends the a campaign headquarters opening at 3360 Boulevard Dr. Victor Leblance in Tracadie-Sheila. He then makes campaign stops in Tracadie and at 6 p.m. attends a barbecue at the campaign headquarters for Kevin Hache at 445 Boulevard St. Pierre Ouest in Caraquet.

Greens: David Coon will be joined by federal Green Leader Elizabeth May to launch the party's platform on community driven health care in Sackville. At 3:30, Coon and May are expected to host a volunteer appreciation event in Fredericton. And at 7 p.m., they host a social gathering at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton.

New Democrats: Jennifer McKenzie makes an announcement about labour rights at 10 a.m. at Fallsview Park in Saint John. At 11 a.m. she attends a barbecue fundraiser at 130 Bayard Dr. in Saint John. She later canvasses in her riding of Saint John Harbour and then attends a fundraiser at 8 p.m. at O'Leary's Pub in Saint John.

People's Alliance: Kris Austin meets with the Golden Club of Fredericton at 10 a.m. at Christ Church parish, 245 Westmoreland Rd. in Fredericton. Then at 6 p.m. he holds a public town hall at 284 Restigouche Rd. in Oromocto.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smaller parties poised to play bigger role in N.B. election

Polls suggest votes for parties other than the Liberals and PCs could increase for the 3rd election in a row

Éric Grenier · CBC News · Posted: Aug 30, 2018 4:30 AM AT | Last Updated: 5 hours ago

New Brunswick Green Party Leader David Coon is looking for re-election in the riding of Fredericton South. (Sarah Morin/CBC)


Though the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives have dominated the political history of New Brunswick, other parties have made their mark over the last two elections. They could do so again on Sept. 24, with potentially significant results.

With the exception of the 1991 election, when the Confederation of Regions party formed the official opposition, the 2014 election set a modern record for the proportion of New Brunswickers voting for a party other than the Liberals or PCs: 21.7 per cent, up from the 16.1 per cent combined vote share of the Greens, New Democrats and People's Alliance in 2010.

The record could be broken again. The New Brunswick Poll Tracker, an aggregation of all publicly available polling data, suggests the three smaller parties could take a total of 22 per cent of the vote this Sept. 24.

Despite these gains, only the Liberals and PCs were able to win seats in 2010 and the Greens eked out just one seat in 2014.

Since 1974, a grand total of 14 seats have been won in general elections by parties other than the PCs and Liberals. Eight of those were CoR seats in 1991 and former NDP leader Elizabeth Weir was responsible for another four.

Accordingly, the charge is regularly levelled by partisans of the established parties that these minnows are splitting the vote with little to show for it.

It assumes, perhaps unfairly, that one of the established parties should be the natural home of supporters of the Greens, NDP or People's Alliance.

It is rarely as simple as that.

Nationwide, the Liberals and New Democrats share many voters. But Dominic Cardy, the New Brunswick NDP leader from 2011 to 2017, is now running as a PC candidate in Fredericton West-Hanwell, and one of the best-performing NDP candidates in 2014 was Bev Harrison, who sat as a PC MLA for nearly a quarter-century. Sometimes the political spectrum isn't a straight line.

Splits go every which way

Nevertheless, there were many ridings in 2014 in which the margin between the Liberal and PC candidates was smaller than the number of votes cast for either the Green, NDP, or People's Alliance candidate.

Enough voters supported the NDP in 21 ridings to theoretically change the outcome — the PCs won 13 of these races, suggesting the party might have been the main beneficiary of an NDP-Liberal "vote split."

There were 10 ridings in which the number of Green votes was greater than the margin of victory. The Liberals won six of those.

And in three ridings, the People's Alliance received enough votes to make the difference. The Liberals won two of those.

People's Alliance Party Leader Kris Austin fell 26 votes short of the PCs in the riding of Fredericton-Grand Lake in 2014. (Catherine Allard/Radio-Canada)

Enough votes were cast for smaller parties in the 2014 election to theoretically change the government.

Had more of them voted for the PCs, David Alward's government could have been re-elected. But it would have required more than just the votes cast for the People's Alliance, the party that shares the biggest pool of voters with the PCs. Greens and New Democrats would have had to vote PC, too.

In 2010, however, Alward's margin of victory was large enough that support for the smaller parties was immaterial to the outcome. Shawn Graham's Liberals would have needed every vote cast for the Greens, NDP and People's Alliance that year in order to squeak out a one-seat majority.

And the split does not always benefit the same party. In 2006, support for the NDP was greater than the margin of victory in 13 ridings but it was the Liberals who won eight of these, and not the Tories who benefited from the split.

Who you calling a splitter?

The smaller parties, however, could also blame the Liberals and PCs for splitting the vote in a few ridings.

In the last election, Cardy and Harrison lost to the PCs by fewer votes than the number cast for the Liberals and Greens in their respective ridings. People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin only needed 27 of the 3,566 votes cast for the Liberal, Green and NDP candidates in his riding to beat the Tories' Pam Lynch.

And then there are splits within splits. In addition to Cardy's riding, the NDP could have won Saint John Harbour if the Greens had not "split" the vote.

In 2010, former NDP leader Roger Duguay lost to the PCs' Claude Landry in Tracadie-Sheila by 1,295 votes. The third-place Liberal candidate finished with 1,478 votes.

It is perhaps a difficult case to make to voters that a greater variety of opposition voices is needed in the legislature rather than an MLA with a plausible chance of being part of government. But that is the challenge that smaller parties face in every election across the country.

Potentially big impact in many ridings

That is the pitch that smaller parties are making in this campaign. New polling data from Corporate Research Associates in Halifax suggests that the Greens and People's Alliance might have the best chance of success.

In a survey conducted between July 19 and Aug. 8 in New Brunswick's three largest cities, the polling firm found that the Greens and People's Alliance had roughly doubled their support in Fredericton from the 2014 election. The poll suggested the Greens were up by about 12 points from roughly 10 per cent in 2014, and the People's Alliance was up five points from about six per cent.

That suggests that Green Leader David Coon is probably in a good position to secure re-election in his riding of Fredericton South. The gain for the People's Alliance might be enough to push Austin ahead in Fredericton-Grand Lake, especially considering the poll found no net gain for either the PCs or the Liberals in the city.

NDP Leader Jennifer McKenzie is running in the riding of Saint John Harbour, which the party held under former leader Elizabeth Weir in the 1990s and early 2000s. (Hadeel Ibrahim/CBC)

But the poll does not bode well for NDP Leader Jennifer McKenzie, running in Saint John Harbour.

The New Democrats captured about 20 per cent of the vote in Saint John in 2014 but the survey suggests their support has been cut in half in the city. Unless McKenzie is withstanding those trends while fellow New Democrats in other ridings bear the brunt of that drop in support, her odds of winning the party's first seat since 2003 could be poor.

However, even if the small parties combine for only one, two or even three seats in the legislature they will still have a wider impact.

The New Brunswick Poll Tracker's seat projection model finds the PCs ahead in seven seats in which their lead over the Liberals is estimated to be smaller than the share of the vote awarded to the Greens. There are six ridings in which the New Democrats are playing that "spoiler" role.

And for the Tories, there are six seats in which the People's Alliance is projected to have more support than the Liberals' estimated margin of victory over the PCs.

These are rough calculations based on where the polls are today and how these ridings have voted historically. But it is generally in line with the role that the smaller parties played in the 2014 election.

The polls suggest they could play that role again in 2018 — and if the race gets tighter as election day approaches, it could make a big difference.

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New Brunswick Provincial Election on September 24

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