ST. LEONARD, N.B. — New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant held a second day of unofficial election campaigning Monday with a promise to create a new cabinet seat to deal with small business and red tape reduction.

The Liberal leader said the move would help the competitiveness and growth of businesses in the province.

“When small businesses thrive, our economy thrives,”‘ Gallant said in a news release. “Small businesses are important job creators and help our anchor exports compete on the global stage.”

Gallant launched his party’s campaign Sunday, four days ahead of the official election start on Thursday, although all the parties have been in pre-election mode for weeks.

The Tories said their first campaign announcement has been scheduled for Tuesday morning at Carleton Park on Fredericton’s north side, while the Green Party plans to launch its campaign Tuesday with the opening of its Fredericton regional campaign office by leader David Coon.

The NDP said Monday that officials met with party candidates Sunday in Fredericton to discuss the upcoming election and said they would launch the official campaign on Thursday. The party said it has so far nominated 29 candidates and plans to run 49.

Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs kicked off his day Monday at a breakfast event with the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce.

Gallant said Monday a re-elected Liberal government plan for small businesses would contain several other measures including a loan program to help access capital, subsidized training to help business owners increase gender diversification and equity, and ensured investment to assist small businesses to grow exports and to diversify markets.

“Our plan … coupled with other initiatives we undertook such as cutting the small business tax by 44 per cent and enhancing the Small Business Investor Tax Credit will spur economic growth allowing our youth to work here at home.”

The Liberals said they would be making another platform commitment during an announcement Tuesday morning at a recreation centre in Renous.

Voters are expected to head to the polls on Sept. 24.

The Liberals currently hold 24 seats in the 49-seat legislature, the Progressive Conservatives 21, the Green Party one, while there is also one independent and two vacant seats.

The Canadian Press

The Canadian Press