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article imageManitoba, PEI set to begin the campaign trail for Oct. elections

By Andrew Moran     Sep 6, 2011 in Politics
Winnipeg - As Ontario voters are gearing up for next month's elections, two other provinces in Canada are also readying for a fall election. Manitoba will dissolve the legislature for an Oct. 6 election and Prince Edward Island is set in stone for Oct. 3.
Vote, vote & vote
Democracy is at work as Canadian provinces head to the voting booth.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark stated last week that she will back down from her earlier attempts to hold an election this autumn prior to the fixed election date – May 2013 – a close call for BC voters, who recently voted down the HST.
In Ontario, voters will head to the polls on Oct. 6. The campaign trail for political parties has already begun and the platforms on key issues of the day are being released day-by-day.
In one part of the country, the provincial premier is set to dissolve the legislature and get ready for an election. In another part, its voters are gearing up with excitement to head to the polls in one of the most important elections in recent memory.
Gregory Selinger  MPP
Gregory Selinger, Premier of Manitoba.
Legislative Assembly of Manitoba
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger is set to ask Lieutenant Governor Phillip Lee to dissolve the provincial legislature and officially send residents to the voting booth on Oct. 4, according to a CBC News report.
Campaigning in the province has informally been underway for several weeks now and parties have released parts of their platforms at the end of August.
The incumbent New Democratic Party premier is expected to campaign in Brandon and Winnipeg and discuss health care. The Manitoba NDP unveiled a vision document last week that talks about its accomplishments and plans related to education, health care and jobs.
Hugh McFadyen, Manitoba Progressive Conservative Leader, has already promised to expand the child tax benefit to the age of 12, balance the budget by the year 2018, never institute the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), implement the home renovation tax credit permanently and expand the fitness tax credit to all ages.
Meanwhile, Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard is expected to focus part of his campaign on crime and safety in communities. Gerrard also wants to lax Sunday shopping laws. He is set to make a campaign announcement this week.
For more information on Manitoba’s provincial election, click here.
Prince Edward Island
Robert Ghiz  Premier of PEI.
Robert Ghiz, Premier of PEI.
On Tuesday, Liberal Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz, who holds a considerable majority government, will make the call for an election next month, although voters have been prepared for an election months ago.
Election signs have been plastered all over the province in time for the Oct. 3 election. Incumbent and opposition candidates have held press conferences all summer long making new promises.
Political parties say that their constituents have been ready for quite some time and the fixed-date has been great for everyone.
“The fixed election has given us time which is wonderful, time to prepare, time to get our candidates in place,” said George MacDonald, Progressive Conservative campaign chair, in an interview with CBC News.
Although the PEI Premier has said the province has withstood the global economic collapse, the numbers show something else.
PEI holds the nation’s second highest unemployment rate of 11.6 percent. Furthermore, PEI is facing a budget deficit of $42 million this fiscal year and its net debt is projected to be $1.8 billion by March 2012.
Olive Crane’s Progressive Conservatives have pledged to focus their campaign on health care, jobs and equal treatment for urban and rural areas. Last week, Crane announced a heating oil subsidy for 30,000 low-income households – a $15 million cost that the PC Leader promises will be paid for by eliminating government waste.
PEI New Democratic Party Leader, James Rodd, also promised to focus their attention on health care in the province.
In June, Rodd urged Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Health, to address the issues facing health care delivery in PEI.
“Many Islanders waiting for orthopedic surgery are facing unacceptable delays,” said Rodd, according to a news release. “A medical clinic pursuing the kind of collaborative practice recommended in the Romanow Report on the Future of Health Care in Canada has been forced to close, adding another 4,500 patients to the already intolerable number of people without a doctor.”
For more information on PEI’s election, click here.
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