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Federal Conservative leader looking to break Liberal hold on New Brunswick

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Scheer is on a campaign-style swing through New Brunswick, as the party seeks to make gains in a province and region it was shut out of last time. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

FREDERICTON — Federal Tory Leader Andrew Scheer is on a campaign-style swing through New Brunswick, as the party seeks to make gains in a province and region it was shut out of last time.

The Liberals captured all 32 federal seats in Atlantic Canada during the 2015 election, including 10 in New Brunswick.

Scheer is holding a town hall meeting tonight in Fredericton, as the clock ticks toward a federal election this fall.

On Tuesday, he speaks to a business audience in the morning before meeting with Tory Premier Blaine Higgs and his cabinet, and then holds a policy brainstorming session with Conservatives from across Atlantic Canada.

Donald Wright, a political scientist at the University of New Brunswick, says the party needs to find strong local candidates to ensure they aren’t shut out again in Atlantic Canada.

Wright says Scheer’s base is in western Canada, and he will need to raise his profile in the east.

He expects the Conservatives will target a number of key issues including the Liberal carbon tax.

The Canadian Press