Prolonged N.L. election draining candidates' bank accounts and energy

·1 min read

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — As Newfoundland and Labrador's delayed election campaign hits its 66th day, some candidates say it has become a drain on their energy and their bank accounts.

Sheila Fitzgerald says she was denied an unpaid leave of absence from her management position in government to run for the Progressive Conservatives in the St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows riding.

Instead, the single mother of two teenage boys says she had to quit the provincial civil service job in order to run, and she's now been without income since the election was called in mid-January.

In western Newfoundland, Melissa Samms, the NDP candidate for St. George's-Humber, says morale remains high but energy is running low.

Samms has been trying to launch a small business and didn't expect to be away from that work to campaign for this long.

Because of a February COVID-19 outbreak, officials announced all ballots in Newfoundland and Labrador's election would be cast by mail, with a deadline this Thursday to have them returned to the elections authority's office.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press