08/29/2014 07:40 EDT | Updated 10/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Premier David Alward promises to set up training centre for resource industries

FREDERICTON - Premier David Alward of New Brunswick is promising a training centre for the natural resources industry to capitalize on major energy projects on the horizon.

The Progressive Conservatives would spend $5.5 million over four years to set up the facility, which would help train people in the oil, natural gas and mining sectors.

"New Brunswick has a short time before these industries really start to fire on all cylinders," he said Friday in a statement.

"We need to be absolutely ready to ensure New Brunswickers have the skills and the opportunities to work in these new industries and earn a very good living in their own communities."

Alward has been heavily promoting the development of natural resources, particularly shale gas and the Energy East Pipeline, in his bid to be re-elected on Sept. 22.

The Liberals, meanwhile, committed to developing a local food and beverage strategy with input from the agriculture industry.

Gallant said legislation helping local producers tap into new markets would create jobs and support sustainable development.

The Liberals also said they would ban non-healthy food from school grounds and provide local foods in schools to promote healthy eating habits if they win the election.

Green Leader David Coon has also said the province needs to shift towards local food self-reliance and has promised to introduce a labelling program that would allow consumers to easily identify food produced and processed in New Brunswick.

NDP Leader Dominic Cardy said Friday he would grant more powers to local governments, including greater authority over economic development.

Cardy also promised training for elected officials and municipal administrators.

"We will empower municipalities to control their own destinies," Cardy said in a news release, adding that an NDP government would meet twice annually with municipal government associations.