Opposition says governing Liberals trying to 'bribe' voters
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.”
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.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.