Budget Day in N.B. – Tories face worsening financial situation

. File photo/The Canadian Press

FREDERICTON – Today’s New Brunswick budget is expected to dominate the spring session of the provincial legislature.

The province faces a worsening financial picture and a deficit for the current year of at least $411 million.

Deputy premier Paul Robichaud says New Brunswickers will see the government make good steps to grow the economy and create jobs.

But Opposition Leader Victor Boudreau says they’ve only seen broken promises since Premier David Alward’s Tory government came to power in 2010.

The government has been looking for ways to cut costs but Finance Minister Blaine Higgs says he also needs to generate more revenue.

He has suggested a number of possibilities, such as rescinding previous cuts in personal and corporate income taxes, raising consumption taxes, imposing highway tolls, increasing the harmonized sales tax or introducing a health levy.

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The government is promising about 40 pieces of legislation this spring, while the Liberals say there will be more debate on shale gas exploration.