The announcement of 22 new fire trucks for communities across Newfoundland and Labrador has nothing to do with the upcoming provincial election, insists Municipal Affairs Minister Kevin O'Brien.
The government makes funding announcements after the budget every year, and this just happens to be an election year, he said.
But Geoff Gallant, the NDP candidate in Cape St. Francis, thinks the timing may be more than just coincidence.
"Most of these announcements are being recycled from August 2010," he said.
The funding comes from a two-year-old program under which the provincial government pays 90 per cent of the cost of replacing old fire fighting equipment.
Ninety-five communities applied for the program, which shows just how badly the program was needed, said O'Brien.
"This governement recognizes a huge deficit across the province in regards to our fire departments," he said. "This was a significant investment."
There will be more new firetrucks announced in the coming weeks, said O'Brien.
The photo cutline misidentified Cape St. Francis as Cove St. Francis.Jul 22, 2011 5:15 AM NT