News from the New Brunswick campaign trail

It's an important week in the New Brunswick election campaign, with three televised leaders debates.

Donald Wright, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick, says he expects the Liberal and Progressive Conservative leaders will be trying to stay on message and not stumble.

He says the debates are a good chance for the lesser-known party leaders to get their messages out to a provincial audience.

There will be an English-language debate on CBC Wednesday evening and then separate English and French-language debates on Rogers TV on Friday.

Tories

New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs says, if elected, he'll introduce a carbon plan, not a carbon tax.

Higgs says he's committed to joining other provinces including Saskatchewan and Ontario to stop the federal carbon tax through a court challenge.

He is critical of a plan by the provincial Liberals to repurpose a portion of the existing gas tax to a climate change fund.

Liberals

Liberal Leader Brian Gallant says a Liberal government would help grow the economy by creating at least three economic ``superclusters.''

While Gallant says he would partner with the private sector and others to create the so-called superclusters, he isn't saying what they would be, or how much it would cost.

He said one emerging supercluster is cybersecurity with numerous businesses and research locating in Fredericton.

He said others could be in maple syrup, blueberries or cannabis.

Green

New Brunswick Green Leader David Coon says the obsessive bickering between the province's Liberals and Tories over the carbon tax is a distraction from the urgent actions needed to address climate change.

Campaigning in Fredericton, Coon said immediate action is needed.

He said a Green government would put new limits on greenhouse gases for large polluters, require NB Power to provide 50 per cent of electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar, and offer stronger protection for forests and wetlands.

NDP

The New Brunswick New Democrats released their full campaign platform Monday, with Leader Jennifer McKenzie saying it represents the values of her party and the people of the province.

The party is promising a $15-per-hour minimum wage, public home care and more affordable post-secondary education.

The NDP have not had a member in the New Brunswick legislature since 2005.