The electoral discussion resumes with 3 announcements of spending by normally frugal PCs

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Election speculation continues to mount as Blaine Higgs’ government made high profile fundraising announcements on Friday.In Saint John, Trevor Holder, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labor, contributed $ 10 million to support the creation and operation of a new regional economic development agency encompassing the city and municipalities surrounding areas.

In Shediac, Andrea Anderson-Mason, the minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation, announced that $ 10 million would be matched with federal and municipal contributions for the modernization of the wastewater treatment plant operated by the Greater Shediac Sewerage Commission.

An additional $ 4 million was allocated Friday afternoon to a new ice rink and recreation center in Caraquet.

Other spending announcements in recent weeks from the normally frugal Progressive Conservative government include a 20% travel incentive to the province and an apprenticeship program for women in the trades.

This is an unusual volume of announcements from a government that is not normally inclined to such self-promoting events.

The Government of New Brunswick has given the City of Saint John $ 10 million to help establish and operate a new regional economic development agency. ((CBC))

Speaking to reporters after Friday’s announcement in Saint John, Holder dismissed suggestions that his announcement could be linked to an impending election.

“We have been working hard on how to re-energize the economy resulting from COVID,” Holder said. “That’s what it’s all about today. ”

Meanwhile, more than a dozen PC constituency nomination meetings are scheduled for the next few days, including those for Prime Minister Higgs and Health Minister Ted Fleming on Saturday.

The incumbent’s own appointment is scheduled for next Thursday, while that of Anderson-Mason will take place the following week.

Gerry Lowe, Liberal MP, who was at the fundraising announcement in Saint John, said Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Blaine Higgs is likely under pressure not to call an election this fall. (Connell Smith / CBC)

Despite this, Liberal MP Gerry Lowe, who was in attendance for Holder’s announcement at the Marco Polo cruise ship terminal in Saint John, said he was not convinced an election was going to happen.

He said it could be dangerous for the party’s fortunes to campaign during what could be a difficult reopening of schools in the province.

“I think the prime minister is under a lot of pressure not to have an election,” Lowe said. “And he’s probably under a lot of pressure to have an election. So it will probably be decided by a gentleman and his name is: the prime minister. “

Announcements don’t mean an election, says prof

UNB political scientist JP Lewis is also unsure whether nominations and funding announcements guarantee an election is imminent.

He said Higgs could just send out test balloons to gauge the public’s reaction.

It is difficult to predict how a public “hyper attentive” to government actions will behave six weeks later, he said.

And it may be safer, Lewis said, for the Tories to fight three byelections, as required this fall, and wait until next spring to hold a general election on the merit of a new budget.

“I imagine that more than at any other time in recent history, people are following what the government is doing. “

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