More virtual campaigning in N.L. after community spread of COVID-19 in St. John’s

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Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal leader Andrew Furey, is facing criticism after calling an early provincial election for February 13. As Ross Lord explains, critics suspect the incumbent Liberals have something to hide. – Jan 23, 2021

Activities are expected to pick up today in the Newfoundland and Labrador election campaign following a day largely hindered by the effects of a winter storm.

However, with a COVID-19 outbreak in the St. John’s area, Liberal Leader Andrew Furey says his party is shifting to more virtual style campaigning, especially in Mount Pearl, where several new cases have been linked to the local high school.

Furey is also defending his decision to call the election amid the pandemic, saying the province’s latest COVID-19 case numbers remain lower than those in such provinces as British Columbia and Saskatchewan, where elections were held successfully last fall.

Read more: Newfoundland and Labrador RCMP close headquarters after COVID-19 case confirmed

A spokesman for the Progressive Conservatives says while some individual campaigns will suspend door-knocking, the party will await further instructions from public health officials on how to proceed with its campaign ahead of Saturday’s vote.

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The NDP says it has already been doing more virtual campaigning and is assessing its options regarding the safest way to proceed for the rest of the week.

On Monday, the Tories released a statement pledging to increase access to child care across the province, while the NDP said it would establish permanent core funding for Status of Women Council offices so they can continue to help vulnerable women across the province.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2021.

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