NDP hopes for breakthrough in Fredericton

Sharon Scott-Levesque is not new to politics. She has run twice before for the provincial New Democrats in 2010, and 2014. Her past electoral experience isn’t the only reason she’s running.

“I’m a registered nurse. I’ve been a business owner in the city for probably close to 20 years,” said Scott-Levesque. “I’m a mother of four, and I’m a grandmother. So, I feel like I have a lot to offer.”

In their platform the NDP has promised to, “Create opportunities for 40,000 young Canadians through NGO and private sector training partnerships.” Scott-Levesque said this is important for students in this area.

“For young people it’s really important, especially here in New Brunswick, we want to expand the job training in the EI plan,” said Scott-Levesque. “Also expand the training and benefits for young Canadians. Especially those where the jobs are not that permanent.”

The NDP will also give more money to municipalities to help improve infrastructure and public transit. Scott-Levesque said some people may not see the need for better public transit in a city like Fredericton, but it needs upgrading.

“I took the bus one time from the downtown to the hospital. I might as well have walked,” said Scott-Levesque. “We do need to have a better plan.”

The NDP, as of Sept. 26, have not released their platform regarding post-secondary education. Scott-Levesque pointed to the NDP’s past to show their commitment to post-secondary education.

“For years the NDP [has] tried to pass legislation that would require the federal government to properly fund post-secondary institutions,” said Scott-Levesque. “We want to make sure that student aid reflects the real cost of furthering education.”

Scott-Levesque said the NDP will be investing $40 million dollars in women’s shelters. The NDP would also call an inquiry into murdered and missing aboriginal women within 100 days of forming government.

Prior to 2011 few would have given the NDP much chance at even coming close to forming government. Now the party is in a virtual three way tie with both the Liberals and the Conservatives. Even so the NDP held a sizable lead early in the election,

“You know what Diefenbaker used to say, ‘Polls are for dogs,’” said Scott-Levesque. “They can change over night, and it depends on where those polls were and how they’re done.”

Locally the numbers aren’t as good for the NDP. A poll commissioned by LeadNow puts the NDP support at 20 per cent, verses 32 per cent for the Conservatives, and 37 per cent for the Liberals. Scott-Levesque is unfazed by the poll.

“I don’t believe in the LeadNow polls,” said Scott-Levesque. “You have to realize that they did that poll during Harvest Jazz and Blues. They did it only for landlines.”

“We want to make sure you have every opportunity that you can have in this country,” said Scott-Levesque. “We don’t believe anybody should be left behind, and we will do everything that we can for the youth in this country, to make sure they have a successful, enjoyable life.”

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