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Kevin Aylward frustrated with his candidates

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Liberal candidates with loose lips are beginning to frustrate leader Kevin Aylward. At an all candidates forum in Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi, Liberal Drew Brown was asked about the rural-urban divide and comments made earlier in the campaign by fellow Liberal candidate Danny Dumaresque. Brown said the remarks were an ” idiotic comment by an idiotic man”. Late last month Dumaresque made controversial and confrontational comments about St. John’s and its mayor regarding re-arranging the manner in which the province pays its municipal dues. And before that, former Liberal leader Yvonne Jones went off script on Facebook and made references to Liberal promises in Labrador that weren’t in its platform. Source: VOCM

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Noseworthy no-shows debate organized by community group

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John Noseworthy, former auditor general and challenger to NDP leader Lorraine Michael in the Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi riding, is taking some heat for deciding not to show up to a debate sponsored by the Georgestown Neighbourhood Association. Michael showed up to the event, as did Liberal candidate Drew Brown. “The fact that he has that same arrogant attitude, that he could ignore people in the district that he’s asking to vote for him, ignore that, shows he has the same arrogance as the party he’s running for,” Michael told the CBC. For his part, Noseworthy had concerns that members of the Georgestown association were also working on the NDP campaign. Check out the new poll on TheIndependent.ca to tell us how you feel about this apparent snuff by clicking here. Meanwhile Drew Brown took exception to negative comments made by his Liberal party colleague, Danny Dumaresque, to the city of…

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Elections in PEI, NWT, Manitoba completed; Ontario next

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Newfoundland and Labrador goes to the polls on October 11, but as we look to that day, across Canada other provinces and territories are electing new governments as well. Polls closed in Prince Edward Island on Monday, seeing the Liberals under incumbent Premier Robert Ghiz being elected to a strong majority. The people in the Northwest Territories also made their choices on Monday; the legislative assembly in Yellowknife is nonpartisan. Manitoba held its election yesterday, where despite the NDP and Tories almost splitting the popular vote, the NDP pulled through for its fourth straight majority government. Canada’s eyes now turn to Ontario where the embattled province is set to vote tomorrow. A sure win for Conservative leader Tim Hudak has turned around, where the question now seems to be whether Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals will achieve a minority or majority government. This would be McGuinty’s third government. Elections still to come?…

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Dunderdale insists she’s not ‘buddies’ with PM

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“For me, this is not about being buddies with Stephen Harper,” said Kathy Dunderdale during an interview with the CBC. Dunderdale been criticized by her political opponents — particularly from the Liberals — for her decision to clearly back Harper during the federal election campaign. The decision was a far cry from Danny Williams’ Anything But Conservative (ABC) campaign during the last federal election, and defended her new friendlier approach. “It is very easy, in terms of the politics of it all, to stand down here and throw rocks at the federal government … and appear to be standing up for the rights of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” she said. Source: CBC

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Liberals say that the PCs dropped the ball after Igor

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Liberal leader Kevin Aylward is saying the PC government has been resorting to “band-aid” fixes for the province’s infrastructure, and says that damage to new highway infrastructure on the Burin and Bonavista peninsulas has proven that the PC government failed to learn any lessons from last year’s devastating storm. Aylward says that infrastructure built after Igor should never have been affected by a mere tropical storm like Ophelia. Source: VOCM

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NDP says the PCs aren’t the ones to defend health care

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With a new health accord agreement necessary between Canada and its provinces during the Newfoundland premier’s next term in office, NDP leader Lorraine Michael says that Kathy Dunderdale and her PCs aren’t the ones to do it. Michael fears that, after Dunderdale allowed Harper to shut down the Search and Rescue Substation, the PCs simply don’t have what it takes to stand up to Harper. Michael says the NDP is the party which will fight to ensure the five principals of the health act are maintained. Source: VOCM

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Election Round-up: One week 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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NL Election 2011: The Final Week

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Newfoundland and Labrador is entering its final full week of its provincial election campaign, and VOCM is giving an update on where the leaders will be today. PC Leader Kathy Dunderdale will begin this week’s campaign in St. John’s with a visit to the Independent Living Resource Centre on Escasoni Place. She’s then heading off to the west coast where she will campaign with Wally Young in Rocky Harbour and Darryl Kelly in Deer Lake. Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward is focusing his energies today in St. George’s-Stephenville East where he’s hoping to win back the district he held for 18 years away from incumbent, Joan Burke. NDP Leader Lorraine Michael is making an announcement this morning at 11 at her campaign office concerning the 2014 Health Accord. Michael will be joined by Megan Leslie, the NDP MP for Halifax. Stay tuned this week for TheIndependent.ca’s review of the three political…

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Aylward comes under fire for decisions made as MHA

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Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward is on the defensive regarding his role in preventing the auditor general from reviewing constituency allowances; before retiring from provincial politics in 2003 he was one of seven politicians on the Commission of Internal Economy when it voted to prevent that from happening. Ultimately of course when the books were reviewed later in the decade, gross mis-spending was uncovered which saw four politicians sent to jail. But Aylward said all politicians in the late 1990s supported the move to exempt the legislature.”The collective house of assembly including Jack Harris, leader of the NDP, and Loyola Sullivan and the Tory caucus also went collectively with that decision,” said Aylward reports the CBC. “It’s regrettable what occurred … Since then the Green commission has put in place what’s required. But we had a systematic breakdown in our accounting system.” Source: CBC

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NDP’s oil surtax raising eyebrows nationally

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Lorraine Michael and her NDP are making national headlines this week not just for their historical chance at coming in second place for the first time – but for their idea of charging a new tax on oil companies. The NDP Leader plans to pay for about half of the $142 million needed for the party’s health and social spending platform by charging oil companies a three-per-cent surtax on offshore royalties. CTV reports that “she concedes that such a move could require rewriting offshore deals that were months or years in the making”. Michael said the party will seek a legal opinion on the matter. Asked why she did not do that before releasing her platform, she said the surtax is only an issue if she becomes premier. So the leaders only have to rationalize their platforms if they actually had a shot at becoming Premier? Source: CTV

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Man flip-flops on decision to run; Liberals short 1 candidate

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Phillip Mullins decided yesterday morning that he wanted to run for the Liberal party in Mount Pearl North. By the afternoon he had been approved by the party, and was the selected candidate, ready to go for the election in 2 weeks time. “I am officially the liberal candidate for Mt. Pearl North!” he tweeted. By dinner time, he had pulled out of the race. “After talking with my family and considering the personal and work commitments I have, I will be declining the nomination for Mt. Pearl [North].” That leaves the Liberal Party 1 candidate short of the full 48-riding slate, with just two days to go until registration closes. At this point, the Liberals will be searching for any name to put on the ballot; Mount Pearl North is strong PC territory and the party doesn’t realistically expect to have a chance there. Source: CBC

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Former Federal Environment Minister pushes Muskrat Falls

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“It is a transformational project for Atlantic Canada that will take the region and our country to a new level of industrial development,” said Jim Prentice, former high-profile Conservative and current senior executive vice-president of CIBC. “In my opinion, the federal government has done the right thing in supporting the development of the remaining hydropower potential of the Churchill River… and in the days ahead, the voters in Newfoundland and Labrador will have the opportunity to voice their opinion as well.” Prentice emphasized that he wasn’t trying to sway voters on the rock. “I’m here speaking on behalf of our bank and we are supportive of the project,” he told reporters. Source: The Chronicle Herald

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The debate over our finances

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The St. John’s Board of Trade held a debate last night on fiscal policy and the economic future of Newfoundland and Labrador. In attendance were Tom Marshall for the PCs, Danny Dumaresque for the PCs, and Lorraine Michael for the NDP. Dumaresque spent his time attacking the PCs on the Muskrat Falls deal: “There’s no way that we can go and build this kind of monster and have the responsibility of repaying it for the foreseeable revenues that we have. It’s just impossible.” Michael attacked the PCs on transparency: “$348 million passed over to Nalcor and we don’t get an accounting of how that $348 million [is spent], we have to take their word.” Marshall defended Nalcor and its Muskrat Falls project: “Hydro, once it gets going, will provide us with revenue as along as the river flows to the sea.” An interesting response from Dumaresque to a question regarding…

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The debate over Health Care

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“I think the minister is denying the fact that we do have a mess and when I say that it’s not my word people inside the health care system are continually saying to me: our health care system is a mess,” said NDP Lorraine Michael during yesterday’s debate on the health care system. Michael, who believes there are major problems with our system, is calling for a full independent review of it. Health Minister Jerome Kennedy says an independent review would inevitably lead to recommendations that rural services should be cut. “There was an external review done in 2004 and if we had followed the recommendations at that time then there would be no rural health care left,” said Kennedy. “I really don’t know why Ms. Michael believes a review today would be any different … They’ll try to streamline and create efficiencies,” he said. “I can predict that that’s…

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A call for the leaders to debate Muskrat Falls

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The Telegram is reporting that three men who have delved into the numbers on the Muskrat Falls project are calling for the provincial government and Nalcor Energy to reconsider alternatives and for provincial party leaders to have a debate solely on Lower Churchill development prior to the Oct. 11 election. Richard Cashin, the President of Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW), Ed Hearn, a lawyer in Labrador City and a former director of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro; and Dennis Browne, a lawyer in St. John’s and former Consumer Advocate for the Public Utilities Board, held held a news conference yesterday to make the call. For more information, click to link below to read the article at The Telegram. With the timing of the announcement, and those involved (Cashin was once a Liberal MP), one has to wonder what the political motives of the news conference were. Source: The Telegram

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It’s going to be tough for students to vote

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This year MUN’s midterm break falls on election day, which is forcing students to make alternative voting plans – or to rule out voting altogether. Paul Hussey from MUN’s student paper The MUSE talks with the Canadian Federation of Students NL to see what this means and what has been done to try and counteract the problem. “We’ve met with Elections NL a couple of times to talk about the importance of making sure students get out to vote,” said Jessica McCormick CFS-NL Chairperson. “And they’ve been reluctant to have any polling stations on campus, which is what we’ve been advocating for, especially with advanced polls.” Check out Paul’s article here. Online voting anybody?? Source: The MUSE

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