Graham attacks PC leader over campaign promises
Last Updated: Thursday, September 9, 2010 | 1:34 PM ET
Liberal Leader Shawn Graham took aim at Tory Leader David Alward on Thursday, accusing his chief rival of hiding his real agenda.
Graham told a Saint John crowd that Alward is not giving enough details, including the full pricetag, of his campaign promises.
"Our plan is out there for everyone to see. David Alward is critical of our plan, and we expect that," Graham said in his speech.
"He's also critical of our record. I expect that as well. But I expected more from someone who wants to be a leader."
The Liberals have also failed to release their party's complete election platform and have also failed to provide a full accounting of their promises.
Graham also accused Alward of trying to defer any of his tough decisions until after the campaign and avoid sparking any criticism during the election.
The Liberal leader pointed to the Tory plan to strike a task force on pension reform, a summit on forestry policy, talk of changing the French immersion system and a "phantom" prescription drug program.
Alward's communications team on his campaign bus took more than two hours before they made him available to respond.
When he finally emerged, Alward said the Liberal leader's attack shows Graham is getting desperate and that the Grit campaign is in trouble.
Graham told the Liberal crowd that Alward should be upfront with voters about any reforms to the French immersion program.
The Liberals spurred a wave of protests when they tried to scrap the early French immersion program. The Graham government backtracked on the policy change but moved the early French immersion entry point to Grade 3 instead of Grade 1.
The Liberals were forced to consult on their controversial plan after a group of parents appealed to the Court of Queen's Bench.
While that policy was being formed, Graham said the provincial government learned a lot about creating a better education system.
"It upset some people, and we learned from that experience. But we made those changes because the system wasn't working," Graham said in his speech.
"Today I challenge David Alward to say exactly where he stands on French immersion. Will he reverse our education reforms or not?"