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New Brunswick’s minority government to put bill to confidence vote

New Brunswick Blaine Higgs arrives for a meeting of the Council of the Federation, which comprises all 13 provincial and territorial premiers, in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, December 2, 2019.
New Brunswick Blaine Higgs arrives for a meeting of the Council of the Federation, which comprises all 13 provincial and territorial premiers, in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, December 2, 2019. The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette

New Brunswick’s minority Progressive Conservative government could face an early election if proposed legislation on essential services in nursing homes doesn’t pass.

Premier Blaine Higgs says the legislation needs to pass before the end of the month, and he will make the decision a confidence vote.

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The governing Tories have a deal with the three members of the People’s Alliance to support the government on confidence votes until the spring, but People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin says he might break that deal.

He says the government won’t get his party’s support unless changes to reclassify paramedics are approved by the end of next week.

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Higgs says he hopes there won’t be an early election, but the essential services legislation is a “line in the sand” for him.

New Brunswick government tables 2020-21 capital budget
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He says he would be willing to consider only minor amendments to the bill.