PC Leader David Alward gets the award for delivering the first campaign announcement that has actually generated buzz. The Tories say they will freeze NB Power rates for three years if they are elected on Sept. 27.
It's up to the voters to decide in the campaign whether they like the idea or not. But the timing is bizarre. He announced on CBC News on Tuesday morning that he's going to release a plan in the coming days on how a PC government will eliminate the deficit in four years by cutting some consultants and without raising taxes. And then he announces a three-year NB Power rate freeze but does not attach a figure on how much he expects this to cost.
By now, everyone understands that NB Power's deficits go onto the province's books. If NB Power were to run deficits into the future and the Tories do not raise taxes or cut services, how is the budget going to be balanced. Perhaps this will all be explained in the future, but basic financial questions need to be answered. Surely the old game of making half an announcement on one day and the rest on a second day to maximize media attention has died.
If the economy is the biggest issue facing the province in this election, as many politicians and pundits have said, then why are promises being made with no costing? Alward may have generated buzz but he is silent on the most important part of the promise: the cost.
-- Daniel McHardie