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New Brunswick government and opposition differ on how to address ambulance issue

New Brunswick government and opposition differ on how to address ambulance issue
WATCH: The first Question Period of the new sitting of the New Brunswick Legislature was focused on ambulance services and language. Morganne Campbell reports.

The New Brunswick government has released a discussion paper on the province’s ambulance service but the opposition parties say action is needed to address a shortage paramedics and a decline in response times.

The 37-page report says a majority of vacant paramedic jobs have bilingualism as a requirement.

READ: Rapid response, bilingual requirement to come to Ambulance New Brunswick fleet

A court decision last year ordered the province to provide bilingual paramedic service, but this spring an adjudicator took a different view, and the Liberal government then asked for a judicial review, which will be heard in January.

The report makes numerous recommendations, but warns of increased costs and possible legal challenges.

WATCH: New Brunswick legislature opens with election of Speaker

New Brunswick legislature opens with election of Speaker
New Brunswick legislature opens with election of Speaker

Tory Leader Blaine Higgs says he thinks solutions can be found by getting all the parties together to negotiate.

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Green Leader David Coon says the government needs to cancel its contracts with Medavie and allow the health authorities to run the ambulance service.