Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau rolled through Beauséjour riding yesterday on his way from a campaign appearance in Riverview to another in Amherst.
In the last few days before the election on Monday, Trudeau did not stop here where his friend Dominic LeBlanc hasn’t been able to campaign as he continues to recover in a Montreal hospital from the bone marrow transplant he received on September 18th.
Instead, the Liberals are focussing on the neighbouring Nova Scotia riding of Cumberland-Colchester where their candidate Lenore Zann faces a tough fight against Conservative Scott Armstrong who held the riding before 2015 when the Liberals won all 32 seats in Atlantic Canada including his.
Zann pointed out that Trudeau and his campaign team had visited the riding during her campaign kick-off in Truro and now, were visiting again less than a week before the election.
“I think that says that they really have a good feeling that I could win this riding and they want to try and help me do that,” she added.
So far, Elizabeth May of the Green Party is the only federal leader to have campaigned in Beauséjour — once on September 24th and again on October 11th — suggesting that the Greens think they have a chance in a riding where two Greens were elected to the provincial legislature last fall.
Green candidate Laura Reinsborough has been taking her message door-to-door and persuading voters to display her lawn signs since late June in her campaign to defeat LeBlanc who has held the traditionally safe Liberal riding of Beauséjour for 19 years.
Aside from being unable to campaign door-to-door, LeBlanc’s need to take time out for recovery, has prevented him from appearing at all-candidates’ forums including the roundtable heard on CBC Radio this morning.
One of the more interesting exchanges occurred after CBC Information Morning host Jonna Brewer asked: “With Mount Allison University in your riding, what would you say to students to convince them to vote for you?”
Conservative candidate Vincent Cormier said that in order to pay off their debts, students need opportunities to find work in the area, but the Liberal government’s multi-billion dollar deficits are detrimental to creating the strong economy that would generate good-paying jobs.
New Democratic Party candidate Jean-Marc Bélanger said an NDP government would save most students $4,000 immediately by eliminating interest on their loans and in the long-term would work toward getting rid of tuition fees for all post-secondary education.
Green candidate Laura Reinsborough said her party would cancel the federal portion of student debt, which averages $27,000, and work toward free tuition because of the economic benefits to society from a highly educated and skilled workforce.
People’s Party of Canada candidate Nancy Mercier said that the PPC would focus more on lowering taxes, encouraging students to open up their own businesses and to work in occupations that the PPC would bring in such as in the hemp industry.
To listen to the full CBC candidates roundtable, click here and scroll down to October 16, 2019: Beauséjour candidates panel.