Leaders stick closely to the script for debate

At times it felt like three press conferences held side by side.

 

At times it felt like three press conferences held side by side.

 

The first provincial election debate is in the books with all three leaders looking well rehearsed and sticking close to script.

 

Just hours after a poll placed Darrell Dexter in first place, the NDP leader caught much of the fire yesterday.

 

Premier Rodney MacDonald repeated the charge seven times that the NDP had no plan and said they were making promises they couldn’t keep.

“The greatest risk to Nova Scotia is a politician who says he will do everything for them but says nothing about how he’ll pay for it. And that’s what you will do, Mr. Dexter,” said MacDonald as Dexter shook his head and repeated, “That’s not true.”

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil, who took the least fire of the three, also saved much of his attention for Dexter.

He repeatedly attacked the NDP plan to remove HST from home heating electricity.

“It’s interesting; the president of Nova Scotia Power endorsed it. When was the last time the president of Nova Scotia Power endorsed anything that was good for Nova Scotians?” asked McNeil.

At one point Dexter responded to McNeil’s criticism with laughter, saying he couldn’t understand why McNeil supports more taxes for seniors and the poor. Dexter attacked the Tories for their fiscal mismanagement, saying the legacy of the Rodney MacDonald Conservatives is driving the province into deficit.

He also came out with a new commitment to not raise taxes.

“We’re not going to raise taxes. In fact, the ironic thing about the charges of my opponents is that we’re actually the party that, consistently, over the last number of elections have said we want to make life more affordable for ordinary Nova Scotians in this province,” said Dexter.

 
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