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Newfoundland Tories release policy blueprint at midpoint of election battle

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The ruling Progressive Conservatives in Newfoundland and Labrador have released a policy platform promising added funding for mental health and seniors while renewing pledges to cut small business taxes.

The party's blueprint, unveiled today at the midpoint of the provincial election campaign, includes an estimate that if re-elected the government would spend an additional $12.5 million on mental health over four years.

Party leader Paul Davis also said his party would hold the line on electricity rates, pledging to keep them among the lowest in Canada, while it cuts small business taxes at a cost of about $12 million.

The platform document also says the government would create a provincial heart institute and upgrade the province's diabetes strategy, among other health programs.

The Tories estimated the cost of a promise to phase out requirements for seniors to use their liquid assets when entering old age homes at about $10 million.

The platform also calls for a plan to replace the so-called "under-70 IQ" test for people with autism and intellectual disabilities as a method of determining eligibility for some provincial supports.

The Canadian Press

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