May 18, 2017 9:11 am
Updated: May 18, 2017 6:57 pm

Party leaders gear up for first debate of Nova Scotia election

Nova Scotia’s political leaders are gearing up for their first televised debate, midway through the provincial election campaign. Marieke Walsh looks at the pitfalls and opportunities for each leader.

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Nova Scotia’s political leaders are gearing up for their first televised debate – midway through the provincial election campaign.

Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil, Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie and NDP Leader Gary Burrill will square off tonight in the CBC debate in Halifax.

They will have 90 minutes to make their pitches and sell their platforms to Nova Scotians before they head to the polls on May 30th.

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READ MORE: Complete Nova Scotia election coverage

Much of the debate will likely focus on issues like labour relations, education, health and the economy.

McNeil says his key message during the debate will be the Liberal platform and its $1.08 billion  in spending commitments.

Baillie says he plans to share the Progressive Conservative vision for the province.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia Tories drop candidate over social media posts

Veteran pollster Don Mills says he expects the leadership debate to be more important than in past elections.

He says McNeil’s standings in the polls have nudged up over the last few days and he will have to show he is “calm but strong” under pressure.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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