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NL Election 2011 - page 4

Senior civil servant leaves position to aid Tories

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Len Simms, a former PC leader and a minister in former premier Brian Peckford’s cabinet, has stepped down as the head of the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation so he can help the provincial Progressive Conservative Party in the upcoming election campaign. Former premier Danny Williams appointed him head of the NLHC in 2005, a role he left in 2007 to help Williams get re-elected. It will be interesting to see where Simms may end up after the election finishes. Source: CBC

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NDP says students need grants, not loans

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NDP Leader Lorraine Michael unveiled Monday the latest part of her party’s platform — support for needs-based, non-repayable grants — in a campaign-style event at Memorial University’s Student Centre. “I’m delighted to be able to let students in this province know, that no matter where they go to school in this province, as post secondary students, [they] do not think that they should have to carry debt loads,” said Michael, adding that there are still post-secondary students who cannot afford to get an education. The grants would eventually replace the loan system and cover all 8,000 post secondary students in the province who receive student loans. The announcement was the central piece of the NDPs education platform. Source: CBC

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Women could take big step in NL: The Globe and Mail

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“The most interesting news from the spate of provincial election campaigns underway comes from Newfoundland and Labrador, which could be about to take a leap forward for the cause of women in politics.” The Globe and Mail writes today about the probability that Newfoundland and Labrador will elect its first woman Premier, and also that her opposition may also be led by a woman. Source: The Globe and Mail

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NDP fields 18-year old candidate for provincial election

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Noah Davis-Power, who turned 18 last Tuesday, is running for the provincial New Democrats in the riding of Conception Bay South. Davis-Power claims to be the youngest candidate to ever run in a provincial election; he says that he hopes to convince more young people to get involved in politics in the process, and also that education and health care are the issues he would focus on if he is elected on Oct. 11. Source: CBC

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Election Round-up: Four weeks to go

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TheIndependent.ca counts down the weeks to the provincial election with a quick’n’dirty roundup of what’s happening on the campaign trails…

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Huffington post predicts NDP breakthrough in NL

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“…the Liberals’ history in the province is an advantage. Even with similar shares of the vote, the Liberals are likely to win more seats and thus form the official opposition. But with a good campaign, Michael could easily repeat the federal NDP’s exploit and sit on the opposite side of the aisle from Kathy Dunderdale, the PC leader who is likely to be handed a majority government of her own.” Read the full article by clicking the link below. Source: The Huffington Post

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Poll says PC support holding, while the NDP gaining ground

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A newly released poll pegs PC support in Newfoundland and Labrador at 54 percent of voter support, while the NDP were up to 24 percent from 20 percent some months ago; the Liberal Party remained at 22 percent. The poll was conducted between Aug. 15 — the day after Kevin Aylward was appointed leader of the Liberal party — and Aug. 31, the last day of a string of high-profile spending announcements that the governing Tories have made this summer. Premier and PC leader Kathy Dunderdale was pleased with the numbers, as was NDP’s Lorraine Michael whose party moved into 2nd place for the first time. Liberal leader Aylward took the poll results in stride, saying that the Liberals intend to fight for every seat in the province. “This means to me that there is work to do, but I can say this with the candidates that we have now…

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Oil wealth not reaching rural NL: NDP

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New Democratic Party Leader Lorraine Michael says that Newfoundland and Labrador’s wealth from the offshore industry is not finding its way into enough pocketbooks. “The government is certainly bringing in revenues from oil and gas that we’ve never ever had before in the province, but the revenues are not translating into adequate jobs for trades people and working class people,” said Michael. Michael said the disparity is particularly glaring in rural areas, which have the highest rates of unemployment in the province. Newfoundland and Labrador posted a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 11.9 per cent in July, down substantially from years past but still the highest in the country. Source: CBC

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NDP say they want to cut small business taxes

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In a move not typical of the NDP movement, Newfoundland and Labrador’s New Democratic Party is promising to cut taxes for small business if it forms the province’s next government. “We are proposing that we will reduce small business taxes by 25 per cent in our first year of government, if we were to become government,” said provincial NDP leader Lorraine Michael Thursday. Under the plan, small business taxes would drop from four per cent to three per cent – a move which would cost the province $4 million annually. Source: CBC

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Democracy watchdog sounds alarm on election dates

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An advocacy group lobbying for the strength of Canadian democracy is recommending that 4 provinces push their fixed election dates back to the end of October. Democracy Watch says Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island all have election dates fixed in early October, which causes problems for many voters. It says parents busy getting children settled in school in September have little time to participate in election campaigns or even pay them much attention. University students are also tied up in September and may have difficulty establishing residency at their school location until later in October, which keeps them from voting. The watchdog urged the provinces to recall their legislatures to quickly pass legislation to change the dates. Source: The Star

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Government dishes out millions; Dunderdale says she is not buying votes

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Yesterday the provincial government committed a significant amount of funding for a variety of projects across the province. Supported projects include upgrades to the St. John’s Convention Centre, more money for the refurbishment of the COlonial Building, hockey arenas in Harbour Grace, Conception Bay, and Paradise, and a new swimming centre in Marystown. The announcements yesterday alone totalled more than $100 million. Electioneering? Buying votes? “If I were spending outside of the budget, then I could understand that kind of a criticism,” Dunderdale said Wednesday. “But telling people how their money is going to be spent, how that offends people given that the money was announced in April, I’m at a loss to understand.” Source: CBC

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… meanwhile the Liberals lose a 2nd candidate

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With the provincial election just over a month away, the Liberal party has lost its second candidate in under a month. Ken Carter told the party that he would no longer be able to run in the riding of Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune because it was too far away from his home and his family. Carter lives in St. John’s while the riding is situated on the south coast of Newfoundland. Carter says the decision is based primarily on the time commitment required of him, and has nothing to do with the party’s leadership. Earlier in August John Baird withdrew his candidacy because he had no confidence in new Liberal leader Kevin Aylward. Source: CBC

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