FREDERICTON -- Economic development is front and centre on New Brunswick's election campaign trail today.

During a campaign stop in Saint John, Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers said if he's elected premier, he'll partner with the federal government on the production of small modular nuclear reactors.

Vickers says the project could create thousands of highly skilled and high-paying jobs in the province, adding he believes he has a better chance of reaching a funding deal with Ottawa than Tory leader Blaine Higgs.

But Higgs said today at a campaign stop in Moncton he has been working hard on that file and has already attracted interest in the development of the nuclear reactors from a number of other provinces.

Higgs says if his government is re-elected, he'll continue to implement his plan to help businesses compete in a post-COVID world.

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