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Newfoundland election promises include moose safety, early education

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Bailey, Sue
Publication Date: 
25 Sep 2011



Election platforms in Newfoundland and Labrador are dangling promises on everything from highway moose control to all-day kindergarten as the Liberals and NDP fight to weaken Tory dominance in the legislature.

First out of the policy gate were the New Democrats who, with just one member compared to 43 Progressive Conservatives and four Liberals, are going for what they describe as a "historic breakthrough" in the vote Oct. 11. NDP Leader Lorraine Michael released the "It's Time" platform aimed at voters who have tired of the traditional Liberal-Tory political tug-of-war. The $142-million package is heavy on social measures such as publicly funded homecare, plans for all-day kindergarten and universal public child care, along with rent supplements and commitments for more affordable housing.


The Tories were next to release their platform, "New Energy." It's a $135-million array of tax breaks and targeted promises after the governing Conservatives were criticized last spring for a record big-spending $7.3-billion budget under which net debt would slightly grow to about $8.7- billion.


Dubbed the Blue Book, the latest Tory blueprint promises a review to ensure competitive income tax rates, gradual cuts to payroll taxes, a freeze on post-secondary tuition fees and the replacement over four years of provincial student loans with needs-based grants. There is little focus on child care, beyond already existing tax credits and baby bonuses, along with a pilot project for regulated home-based child care grants announced in the last provincial budget.


-reprinted from The Globe and Mail