The PCs are presenting a motion, calling for the delay of the provincial general election until October 2021, insisting the move has nothing to do with their party trailing in recent polls.
Opposition House leader David Brazil said Monday it's about safety.
"The priority here now is ensuring that people are not exposed to anything that they shouldn't have to be," said Opposition House leader David Brazil on Monday.
"Everybody wants to exercise their democratic rights.… We can dispel all of that and keep people safe by putting it [off] until we have a better understanding of how we can deal with COVID-19. Hopefully there's a vaccine."
The private member's motion calls for changing the legislation, and proposing the election be held the third week in October of next year. Under provincial legislation, an election must be called within a year of a new premier being sworn in.
After question period Monday, Health Minister John Haggie was asked if it would be wise to delay the election.
"I think that's a difficult question to answer. My main focus at the moment is what's happening in the province, in terms of public health.… [Cases] are now closer together than they were, say, three or four weeks ago, where we might have had a case every seven or days," Haggie said.
Nothing to do with polls: Brazil
An MQO poll released in mid-September asked, "If a provincial election were held today, which party would you most likely vote for?"
Of the 289 respondents, 53 per cent of those decided and leaning supported the Liberals, 33 per cent supported the PCs, 11 per cent supported the NDP and one per cent supported the NL Alliance. The poll, conducted from Aug. 19 to Sept. 6, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
When asked if putting off a general election is in any way related to those numbers, and possibly wanting to try to close the gap, Brazil replied, "It doesn't at all."
He pointed to the byelection in Humber-Gros Morne, where polls close Tuesday at 8 p.m.
"We just saw what happened with the byelection in Deer Lake. The potential, how that could have blew up," Brazil said, appearing to reference three, out of Newfoundland and Labrador's total four, active COVID-19 cases. The cases are travel-related.
When it was pointed out to Brazil that New Brunswick recently held a provincial election with no uptick in COVID-19 cases, he acknowledged "there's things that probably could be done."
"But we don't want to put any extra risks when it's not necessary," he added, insisting Newfoundland and Labrador's geography means it shouldn't be compared with other jurisdictions.