'The NDP is on your side': Earle McCurdy launches NDP campaign
'Our realistic goal is to win every single seat we can win,' leader says
Newfoundland and Labrador's New Democrats have launched their 2015 election campaign with leader Earle McCurdy telling voters "the NDP is on your side."
McCurdy, flanked by NDP candidate that include veterans Lorraine Michael and Gerry Rogers, said Memorial University was a good choice to launch the NDP campaign because it's where he began a life of political activism.
"The people of the province are ready for that election and I can guarantee the NDP is ready for it too," he said.
"The NDP is on your side," he said, citing what appears to be the party's campaign slogan.
McCurdy says election about values
McCurdy said the Progressive Conservatives are trying to apply a "fresh coat of paint" in an effort to "convince the people of the province that they're not the party of Humber Valley Paving, that they're not the party of DarkNL, that they're not the party of Bill 29."
As for the Liberals, McCurdy said they've been coasting with their battle cry that they're not the Tories.
"Since Confederation, about the only difference between the two parties is the colour of the lawn signs," he said.
McCurdy said the election is about values: accessible health care, a stronger and more stable economy, steady jobs, a healthy environment, respect and support for families and seniors.
"These are the core values of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and these are the core values of the NDP," he said.
He said it was time for voters to "kick the habit" of jockeying back and forth between the Tories and the Liberals.
NDP will have a full slate
McCurdy praised his "exceptional team of candidates already in place," and promised a full slate of 40 candidates.
He said some people have been waiting for the writ to drop before announcing.
"Our realistic goal is to win every single seat we can win. This election is going to be much more competitive than people think," McCurdy said after reporters asked about the party's third place position in recent polls.
McCurdy launched the NDP's campaign at the Bruneau Innovation Centre at MUN, a few hours ahead of Paul Davis's trip to Government House Thursday to officially dissolve the legislature and drop the writ.
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This the first test of McCurdy's leadership of a political party.
The former head of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union made the leap into provincial politics last March after former leader Lorraine Michael stepped aside in January. He is running in the district of St. John's West, and faces a tough challenge in his bid to win a seat in the House of Assembly.
The NDP have 21 candidates running so far with two more added today.
There's already been one high-profile defection with former federal MP Ryan Cleary's decision to run for the Progressive Conservatives in Windsor Lake