MacDonald exploiting crisis for political gain: Dexter - Metro US

MacDonald exploiting crisis for political gain: Dexter

The province’s opposition leader accused the premier of making political hay with his infrastructure stimulus announcement today.

Premier Rodney MacDonald is set to deliver details on his infrastructure stimulus plan this morning at a Halifax Chamber of Commerce breakfast. NDP Leader Darrell Dexter said he expects MacDonald to parade around the province dropping infrastructure funds in a lead-up to a spring election.

“I noticed recently in an interview the premier said his focus was on the election and I found that somewhat surprising. I would have expected that when it came to the stimulus package and the infrastructure program, his focus would be on what’s good for the province, and not what’s good for the Progressive Conservative party,” Dexter said.

But that doesn’t mean Dexter isn’t thinking about strategizing for an election everyone knows is coming soon.

“Every party recognizes we’re going into the third year of a minority government and even majorities don’t last much longer than that,” he said. “I would absolutely expect that everyone is understanding what the political timetable is, but that’s a little different than using money coming for an economic crisis for political benefit.”

MacDonald has been tight-lipped about today’s announcement but said in a statement yesterday it will be an overall plan and not a list of specific projects.

“I will be outlining areas of investment, and explaining how we will be funding these investments,” he said.

“There have already been a number of projects put to tender, and over the coming days, there will be more of that.”

Dexter said Highway 103 should be a priority.

“The 103 is acknowledged as the deadliest highway in the province,” he said, adding that 10 people have died on that highway in the past year.

“It’s one that has not had the attention of the government for some time.”

Last week, the federal and provincial governments announced $17.5 million to widen Highway 101.

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