POLITICS

Bob Rae accuses PCs of halting college visit

01/24/2012 09:38 EST | Updated 03/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Federal interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae is accusing New Brunswick's Progressive Conservative government of stopping him from appearing at a community college in Edmundston.

Rae said in an interview on Monday that he had planned to visit the community college but that stop was halted late last week.

“On Friday, the provincial government cancelled that part of the visit, which is I suppose a sign that we can’t get rid of petty politics no matter how hard we try,” he said.

The interim Liberal leader started his tour of New Brunswick on Monday to talk about jobs.

He also stopped at an Irving-owned mill in northwestern New Brunswick.

The Edmundston community college is in the riding of federal cabinet minister Bernard Valcourt.

Valcourt’s sister, Martine Coulombe, is New Brunswick’s minister of post-secondary education, training and labour. Her portfolio includes the responsibility of overseeing the province’s community colleges. Community colleges are operated independently.

Coulombe is also an Edmundston-area MLA.

Lise Ouellette, an official with the community college, said Rae's tour was cancelled for a "technical" reason and that she is "sad" about the other perceptions about why the event was halted.

She said the college is trying to have Rae back for another visit in the future.

Ouellette said the college is on the verge of having a grand opening and they didn't want media in the building until the official opening.