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N.B. Liberal platform promises more spending, tax hike for wealthy

Brian Gallant
New Brunswick Liberal leader Brian Gallant talks with reporters near his campaign bus in Dieppe, N.B. on Aug. 21, 2014. Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

MONCTON – The New Brunswick Liberals have released a platform that promises spending increases and tax hikes for the province’s wealthiest.

The party says it would raise taxes for the richest one per cent of New Brunswickers, give grants to seniors to renovate their homes and provide free eye exams for four-year-olds.

Party leader Brian Gallant is also promising to deliver a balanced budget in six years and create 10,000 jobs over four years.

Gallant says $900 million on infrastructure spending would help achieve that goal.

Paul Robichaud, the deputy premier of New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservative government, says voters should be concerned with the campaign platform of the Liberals.

He says it is the first time in his political career that he has seen a party making a campaign promise to increase the debt.

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All parties have now released their platforms for the Sept. 22 election.

The release of the Liberals’ platform comes one day before the first leaders’ debate set for Tuesday.

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy, who was in Moncton preparing for the French and English language leaders debates, says they are not about the five leaders on the stage — they are about very different visions available to the people of New Brunswick.

He says he is looking forward to explaining his platform and questioning the other leaders on their promises.

Meanwhile, the Green party says it would introduce legislation cancelling all contracts between forestry companies and the Progressive Conservative government if elected.

Green Leader David Coon says it is part of his party’s plan to ensure smaller operations and First Nations have a say in the management of Crown land.

The Greens have been critical of a 25-year contract the Tory government signed this year with J.D. Irving that increases the number of trees that can be cut on Crown land.