September 18, 2018 12:51 pm
Updated: September 18, 2018 3:42 pm

N.B. parties drive home campaign promises as election day nears

WATCH: The New Brunswick PCs were fielding criticism from opposing parties on Tuesday as they announced that their party would have motorists pay the tax on the actual purchase price of vehicles. Morganne Campbell has more.

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New Brunswick party leaders are making some of their final pitches to voters with election day less than a week away.

On Tuesday, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says a re-elected Liberal government would increase spending on literacy programs by 25 per cent.

Speaking at a public library in Oromocto, Gallant said education is the key to creating more opportunities and a fairer economy. He says a Liberal government would continue to implement its 10-year education plan and its literacy strategy.

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Spending on literacy programs had been set at $7 million per year beginning in the 2017-2018 budget.

Nearly 20 per cent of New Brunswick adults have literacy levels below the national average. Recent Canada-wide assessments show that, with the exception of Manitoba, New Brunswick Grade 8 students lag behind their Canadian counterparts in reading.

READ MORE: All our New Brunswick election 2018 coverage

The leader of New Brunswick’s Progressive Conservatives says the cost of buying and owning a vehicle in the province is unnecessarily high. Blaine Higgs says many people are being gouged when it comes to paying the sales tax when buying a used vehicle.

He says a Tory government would make a change so that people would pay the tax on the actual purchase price, rather than the book value.

Higgs says he would also eliminate the front licence plate and give drivers the option to pay for vehicle registration every two years instead of annually. He made the announcement at a used car lot in Oromocto ahead of the election on Sept. 24.

WATCH: Global News at 6 New Brunswick: Sep 17

New Brunswick’s NDP leader says a female leader and strong women MLAs are needed in the legislature to uphold promises made to women during the provincial election campaign.

Jennifer McKenzie says politicians make promises for women but quickly forget them when the election is over.

She says her party’s platform was written by women and will make a difference in women’s lives.

The party has vowed to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour and achieve pay equity in the private and public sectors.

She says an NDP government would ensure child care in every school at $10 per day per child aged three to 12.

McKenzie said they would also expand professional development opportunities for police officers and judges to learn about the realities of sexual assault.

READ MORE: Decision NB 2018: the promises

New Brunswick’s Green leader says a Green government would create a new department to promote rural economic development.

David Coon says provincial governments have for too long promoted economic development by degrading natural resources and giving hand-outs to large corporations.

He says a Green government would expand sustainable agriculture and implement a local food strategy to lessen dependence on imported foods.

Coon says they would also increase in-province tourism by maintaining and restoring covered bridges and river ferries.

And Coon says a Green government would immediately cancel the 25-year forestry contracts signed by the former Tory government in 2014 and again make private woodlots the primary source of softwood for mills.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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