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$1B supply bill passed in N.L. falls short of Liberal government’s wishes

Newfoundland and Labrador Natural Resource Minister Siobhan Coady and Peter Ralph, lawyer for the provincial department of justice and public safety hold a press conference on Thursday, February 5, 2020.
Newfoundland and Labrador Natural Resource Minister Siobhan Coady and Peter Ralph, lawyer for the provincial department of justice and public safety hold a press conference on Thursday, February 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly

Though it wasn’t exactly what it had sought, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has succeeded in passing a bill to get through the coming months while awaiting an approved budget.

The minority Liberal government had originally proposed a three-month $1.56-billion interim supply bill, which would let the government keep spending despite not having passed a budget.

But after pushback from the opposition parties, the bill that passed on Thursday provided $1.04 billion for two months.

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Finance Minister Siobhan Coady told the legislature that a three-month bill is standard.

She said the shortened timeline means the opposition parties will have to pass the upcoming budget in good time or another supply bill will be needed.

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The province’s budget was delayed this year because of the pandemic but is expected to be tabled Sept. 30.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2020.