Halfway done: Newfoundland and Labrador election campaign heads into final two weeks

·3 min read

Friday marked the two-week mark since Liberal Leader Andrew Furey dropped the writ on the 2021 general provincial election.

The day also marked the halfway point as candidates continue to try to win public support. In the next several days, the parties are expected to release their respective election platforms.

As with any other day during the campaign, party leaders made a trio of announcements from various parts of the province on Friday.

The Furey campaign was stationed in Clarenville and visited the district of Terra Nova with Liberal candidate Steve Denty.

There, he announced a commitment to the province’s arts and culture community with the projected formation of an Advisory Council on Creative and Cultural Industries. It will aim to bring industry leaders together to create a plan for the future of those sectors.

A digital portal called CreateNL will also be established to promote the creative industries in the province.

There are also plans to incubate competitive local labour in the film and television industry.

“The calibre of creativity coming from our small population here in Newfoundland and Labrador is impressive. Music, arts, storytelling — it’s our culture, and our government will promote creative and cultural industries to help them grow in our evolving economy,” Furey said in a prepared release.

Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie on Friday continued his tour of central Newfoundland, making stops in the Lewisporte-Twillingate and Gander districts.

In Twillingate, Crosbie asserted that joint management was crucial for the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, and released what a government under his guidance will do if the PCs win the election.

Under the plan, the Conservatives would work with the federal government to create and protect industry jobs, protect the fish population from predators like seals and expand the aquaculture industry.

They will also review the regulations regarding bycatch and support the Fish Processing Licensing Board to inquire about the foreign ownership of fish processing operations.

“Sustainable fisheries are key to the Newfoundland and Labrador economy in so many areas. That’s why we’ve brought forward a responsible, sustainable plan for the continued expansion of our fisheries,” said Crosbie.

In St. John’s, New Democratic Party Leader Alison Coffin asserted that her party would be committed to making life more affordable for post-secondary students in the province.

To do that, the NDP plans to keep the tuition freeze in place, while also reinstating the full needs-based program and ensuring the province’s post-secondary intitutions are properly funded.

The NDP would also look to keep young people in the province by creating grants for post-doctoral studies and research. They would also use the federal government's economic stimulus funds to help repair infrastructure and create new projects.

“The province is in a tough place financially, but it's totally unacceptable to expect young people studying in this province to pay for the bad decisions made by decades of Liberal and Conservative governments. We can’t just make them pay for the mistakes of a select few,” said Coffin.

Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice