Trudeau condemns, compliments Higgs in Miramichi campaign stop
Trudeau criticizes premier over childcare and abortion, but offers praise over COVID-19
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau offered both compliments and condemnations to New Brunswick's premier at a campaign stop in Miramichi Sunday afternoon.
The event marks Trudeau's first stop in the Maritimes since the campaign began a week ago.
At a rally with local Liberal candidates Lisa Harris and Dominic LeBlanc, Trudeau criticized Progressive Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs' refusal to sign onto the federal government's plan for $10 a day daycare.
Trudeau also took Higgs to task again for refusing to fund abortions performed at private clinics in the province. Trudeau has previously vowed to pressure Higgs to fund the procedure.
But the premier earned praise from the Liberal leader for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When he mandated vaccinations for provincial public servants, the way we've mandated vaccinations for federal public servants, I salute him," said Trudeau.
Trudeau also praised New Brunswick universities for mandating vaccines for students this fall.
He has two other scheduled stops in the Maritimes Sunday, both in Prince Edward Island.
First leader stop in Maritimes
Trudeau's stop also marks the first time since the election was called that a federal party leader has been in the Maritimes.
Conservative leader Erin O'Toole and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visited the province shortly before the official start of the campaign.
Green Party leader Annamie Paul has yet to make an appearance in New Brunswick as Green leader.
People's Party leader Maxime Bernier is scheduled to be in Saint John on Friday.
Riding to watch
Trudeau's first campaign appearance in New Brunswick was in a riding where both the Liberals and Conservatives have pegged former provincial cabinet ministers to run for the seat.
Liberal MP Pat Finnigan previously held the Miramichi—Grand Lake riding, but decided not to run for a third term.
Lisa Harris, Minister of Seniors and Long-Term Care under the Brian Gallant government, is now the federal Liberal candidate for the riding.
Conservative candidate Jake Stewart served as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs in Premier Blaine Higgs' first government.
Patricia Deitch is the Green Party candidate. The NDP has not chosen a candidate for the riding.