Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Brunswick's Political Parties Set to Begin Campaigns for Sept. 24 Election

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New Brunswick's Political Parties Set to Begin Campaigns for Sept. 24 Election

Article excerpt

New Brunswick campaign set to begin

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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.

"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. …

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