Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers says recent promises — like eliminating glyphosate spraying on Crown land and funding Clinic 554 through Medicare — aren't just attempts to win voters who supported the Green Party during the last election.
"These are areas that are passionate to me," Vickers told CBC News.
"And the glyphosate issue, for example, has been one that we've discussed over and over again at caucus."
On Monday, the Liberals pledged to stop the spraying of Crown Land over a four-year period, with the party leader calling it "a first step."
"We got to make sure that we don't hurt the economy, especially at this time," Vickers said. "But we do have to be progressive and move away from this."
Licences to spray the herbicide are approved by the provincial government each year for use by the forestry industry as well as NB Power to stem plant growth or encourage growth of certain tree species.
Lawsuits in Canada and the U.S. alleged the controversial chemical is to blame for certain health risks, including some forms of cancer. However, Health Canada has said no regulatory authority in the world considers glyphosate to be a cancer risk to humans at the levels at which humans are currently exposed.
Clinic 554 support
Vickers also said he firmly stands behind supporting Clinic 554, the province's sole out-of-hospital abortion provider.
"In an ideal world, we would have [clinics] wherever they are needed," he said. "We have, as you know, a fiscal reality here in New Brunswick that does not accommodate that."
The clinic also offers a wide range of health care, including services for the LGBTQ community.
Still, Vickers said he supports women's reproductive rights and, as a former police officer, he witnessed transgender people treated as if they had mental health conditions while attempting to use public institutions.
"Being responsible with the public purse ... a great starting point is obviously Clinic 554," Vickers said.
New Brunswick provides abortions in two hospitals in Moncton — the Moncton Hospital and the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre — and the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst.
Liberals struggling to expand base
According to early poll data, the Liberal party has struggled to expand support beyond its base.
As of Tuesday, CBC's Poll Tracker has the Liberals projected to win between 14 and 20 seats, while Blaine Higgs's Progressive Conservatives could win between 25 and 30 seats.
At the dissolution of the legislature, the PCs and Liberals both held 20 seats, the People's Alliance and Greens held three seats each, one was independent and two were vacant.
While the PCs have made gains at the expense of the People's Alliance, the Liberals haven't had the same luck winning the support of Green voters.
The party has been stuck around 30 per cent of public support for the last two years.
While the Liberal base among New Brunswick's francophone communities holds steady, the party has lost ground with the anglophone population in the south.
Some polls give the PCs an average lead of 30 points over the Liberals among English speakers.
The Liberals have a lead over the PCs of about 31 points among francophones, however, almost a complete reversal.
Vickers optimistic about polls
But Vickers said the polls are moving in the right directions for his party.
Polling data from Narrative Research had the Liberals down 18 points in May, but numbers from the Halifax-based market research company suggest that gap narrowed to just nine points in August, while other polling has the gap down to as little as six points.
"I'm very confident [about the] number of seats that we're going to be picking up," Vickers said. "So, I guess we'll have to wait until election day."