The official start of the New Brunswick election campaign is more than a week away, but Premier David Alward and Liberal Leader Brian Gallant are already making campaign-style announcements.

Gallant talked about job creation for the second day in a row, slamming the current Tory government’s record and discussing his own party’s platform in Fredericton.

“We’ve lost 5,200 full-time jobs under the Alward government,” said Gallant. “We’re going to make it very clear that job creation is our priority and we’re going to continue to offer ideas on how we think we can make sure that we’re more prosperous as a province.”

Meanwhile, Alward made a jab at his rival during a brief stop in Doaktown.

“He announced Opportunities New Brunswick, but at the very same time, he’s saying no to the greatest opportunity that has been here in front of our eyes for decades, and that is shale gas,” said Alward.

Many residents in the Doaktown area favour resource development, which is emerging as the main plank in the Progressive Conservatives platform.

Doaktown Mayor Bev Gaston says rural communities need jobs to attract and retain residents.

“We need people to pay taxes, to live in the community, more volunteers,” said Gaston. “That’s what this community needs. We have everything else to offer. We just need people.”

While job creation and shale gas are expected to be hot topics on the campaign trail, the province’s growing deficit and controversial forestry strategy will also likely be debated.

The provincial election is scheduled for Sept. 22.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell