The government unofficially kicked off its election campaign against the NDP Thursday, but sparked accusations of being dishonest.
The Tories released a black booklet with orange, Star Wars-style lettering entitled The NDP — A Risk You Can’t Afford.
The 65-page booklet claims NDP “promises” would cost Nova Scotia $2.2 billion. But many of the promises turn out to be questions or vaguely worded phrases.
For example, the booklet claims the NDP promised to spend $105 million paving gravel roads, backed up with a quote from the NDP’s Sterling Belliveau, saying the transportation minister “should come up with a plan for Nova Scotians who live on highly-traveled dirt roads.”
The booklet also quotes the NDP asking the Tories in question period why Manitoba is able to create six times more child care spaces than Nova Scotia.
This is interpreted as a $143 million promise to create 5,500 child care spaces.
When Deputy Premier Angus MacIsaac unveiled the document, Metro News asked if it was misleading to characterize random snatches of statements as promises.
“Random snatches of statements create expectations in the minds of Nova Scotians,” he replied.
The NDP are widely seen as the ruling Tories’ biggest threat in an election, and have spent years cultivating mainstream acceptance.
Caucus staff — whose salaries are paid by taxpayers — spent more than six months compiling data for the booklet. MacIsaac said it showed the NDP had a habit of making expensive promises they couldn’t keep. PC party staff did not know the cost of creating the booklet, and no such research was done on the Liberal party.
The NDP dismissed the booklet and accompanying website as “a fantasy.”
“This is a desperate attempt by Rodney MacDonald and the Tory government to divert attention away from a disappointing track record. Desperate times for them are equating out to lashing out,” said NDP MLA Becky Kent.