Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday round up

Liberals are saying that the regulatory delay in lowering gas prices cost New Brunswickers $1.5 million. Very interesting. I will be curious to see whether or not this resonates with people.


All kinds of convenient happenings all of a sudden, surely with no coincidence or tie in to an election call, I'm sure...

After almost a year, the Tories have appointed a committee to review the study they commissioned (The MacKay Report) on education. First of all, why do you appoint someone to study an issue if you are just going to study the study. Second, if this is your plan, why can you not appoint your committee days or weeks after the report? I can understand a year of time to sort out how and what you are going to implement but a referral for further study could come right away?

Despite promising to do it in 2003 and in June saying it was bogged down in negotiations and could not happen any sooner than January. The Tories have announced $9 million for UNB to open more nursing seats. I don't understand how this could have taken over three years to settle. The last time I checked universities didn't create much of a fuss when they were offered money.

The Stan Cassidy centre just received $350,000 to create a unit to assist people with autism. Perhaps the Tories feared that lack of services for autism would become a quiet but hot issue like it did in 2003?


Interestingly Graham was in Dieppe yesterday subtly chiding the area cities. While promising some goodies, he was quick to stress that Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview have to work cooperatively and not compete with each other. Good policy but probably not good politics. I commend Graham for saying what's right on this one.


Bernard Lord is a meanie. He called Graham and Brewer and told New Brunswickers that the election would be called on Saturday, August 19. Apparently some time yesterday it got leaked that 1000 invitations had been sent around for people to come to the post election call rally tonight at 6 p.m. at the Fredericton Airport. Lord has managed to pull the rug out from under Graham and Brewer, whose launches are scheduled for tomorrow, and will probably dominate the Saturday papers as a result. An astute political move but people are growing cynical, they want fair play and will, I suspect, react badly to this. Also, Lord is starting his campaign launch in front of a hanger and then getting on a plane and taking of to Moncton? I don't see the "little guy" relating much to this.


In Twilight Zone watch, the Times & Transcript seems to be talking to a fair minded policital scientist, while the Telegraph-Journal is taking to someone with an obvious Tory bias. Is the sky also a neon shade of purple? How bizarre. From the Moncton paper:

Tom Bateman, a political scientist at St. Thomas University, said New Brunswickers will be treated to an exciting election because there is no clear favourite between either the Conservatives or the Liberals.

"I don't think we can really make any kind of call at this point. There is just not enough information about where the electors are in their thinking and leaning," Bateman said. "No wedge issue has really galvanized yet, no issue is really dividing the parties. This is a real wide open race at this point."


The Liberals have launched their first ads on energy. Both on radio and TV. They are described thusly in the TJ:

According to the ad, the premier 'wasted' $2.2 billion of taxpayers' money in the 'fiasco' surrounding the failed contract with Venezuela to import the low cost fuel Orimulsion to run the Coleson Cove generating station.

That adds up to $8,000 per home, the Liberal ad says.

Halfway through the ad, Liberal Leader Shawn Graham makes an appearance, and the ad switches focus to his energy plan for the province.

It wraps up with the Liberal slogan for this campaign 'People For A Change.'
I haven't heard/seen these and am strongly annoyed that they are not available on the Liberal website.

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