Leaders make final push in last weekend of N.S. election campaign
Last Updated: Saturday, June 6, 2009 | 7:21 PM ET
The leaders of the three major political parties in Nova Scotia were making their final push in the last weekend of campaigning before voters go to the polls on Tuesday.
Advance polls opened Saturday at 10 a.m. AT were open until 8 p.m.
NDP Leader Darrell Dexter spent most of Saturday morning campaigning in Chester and various communities in the riding of Kings South before heading to Dartmouth in the evening to attend a lobster dinner and auction hosted by the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation.
While in the riding of Chester-St. Margaret's, Dexter carried a No. 87 Pittsburgh Penguins jersey while he told voters there he expects good results next week for both contenders from Cole Harbour, making reference to Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.
Dexter said his party hopes to oust Tory cabinet minister Judy Streatch on election night.
"We've always had good results down here. We've been very close in the past," Dexter told CBC News on Saturday. "I think the people here are very much responding to the message that we have, and we think this is going to be a competitive riding," he said.
Progressive Conservative Leader Rodney MacDonald began his last weekend of the campaign in Shelburne, N.S., on Saturday morning before moving on to Truro and Antigonish in the afternoon.
While campaigning in Truro, MacDonald said he just had one thing to tell voters.
"I've made a promise to each person I run into is that the one thing you can be assured of is that we'll do our best," MacDonald said.
Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil started his campaign day in the Halifax area before heading to Shelburne, Liverpool and Bridgewater on Saturday afternoon.
Party financing emerges as hot issue
One of the key issues in the final days of the campaign has been party financing.
Earlier this week, the NDP returned a total of $45,000 it received from several construction union locals when campaign staff learned the donations might have contravened campaign rules.
The union locals' umbrella group, Mainland Nova Scotia Building and Construction Trades Council, said it had reimbursed each of the union locals that donated $5,000 to the NDP.
The controversy prompted all three political parties to release their list of campaign donors.
On Thursday, MacDonald compared Dexter to a car thief for initially accepting the donations. The Progressive Conservative party then ran radio advertisements on Friday that connected the New Democratic Party with illegal fundraising.
The NDP demanded that the radio station running the ads pull them because, the party said, the ads were false and defamatory.
A poll released this week suggested the NDP was favoured by voters, with the Liberal party in second place and the Progressive Conservatives third.
McNeil said regardless of the latest poll results, there are still some wild cards to be won.
"I don't think anyone can predict. I think there will be some upsets," McNeil said. "There will be some seat changes and I think we're in the mix in a lot of those. There's a lot of very tight races," he said.