The Tories unveiled their election platform with no advance warning Tuesday morning in Musquodoboit Harbour.
However, at $15 million the platform pales in comparison to the $2-billion stimulus plan the Tories had already outlined during its spring budget.
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While most of the platform promises were old, one prominent new pledge was a payroll rebate to businesses that hire apprentices. Businesses would get a rebate of up to 10 per cent of a new employee’s wages up to a maximum of $4,000 in the year following the employee's apprenticeship -- a plan estimated to cost $4.3 million per year.
“This is about finding a way to keep more of our young people working, and keeping them here at home,” Premier Rodney MacDonald said in a press release.
Other planks in the platform include a tax credit for families contributing to RESPs, the curfew for children 15 and under and a review of HRM amalgamation.
NDP Leader Darrell Dexter said an NDP government would consider the apprentice rebate and any program keeping workers here is a good thing.
But he said the platform shows the Tories had planned to run on their Building for Growth stimulus plan, but had to switch things around when that didn’t go well.
“If you have a platform document you want to run on then you get it out before 14 days to election day,” Dexter said.