New Brunswick.

AuthorMcCleave, John-Patrick
PositionLegislative Reports

Resumption of First Session of the 60th Legislature

On October 18, Speaker Bill Oliver advised Members that the Lieutenant-Governor had issued a Proclamation to prorogue the First Session of the 60th Legislature and open the Second Session on November 2. On November 1, Speaker Oliver gave notice that the Proclamation had been revoked by the Lieutenant-Governor and that the House would reconvene on November 2 for the purpose of resuming the First Session.

The normal practice is for the House to start a new session each fall, reconvening for prorogation in the morning, followed by a throne speech in the afternoon. The continuation of the First Session into a second year marked a departure from the normal practice.

The resumption of the House coincided with ongoing labour negotiations between the provincial government and the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Negotiations reached an impasse in late October, leading to a strike by the employees. Prior to the matter being resolved, Green Party House Leader Kevin Arseneau requested that the matter be brought forward for an emergency debate in the House. The Speaker denied the request once the House declined to debate a motion on the same topic. The strike ended after a tentative agreement was reached on November 13.

Capital Budget

The 2022-23 Capital Budget was tabled by Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves on December 7 and totalled $746.8 million. Mr. Steeves said the Capital Budget would strike a balance between addressing the province's infrastructure needs, meeting its financial obligations, and supporting the provincial economy. Investments included $338.8 million for highways, roads, and bridges, with an additional $53.2 million for buildings and other infrastructure; $153.2 million for healthcare infrastructure; and $84.7 million for public school infrastructure. Since the consideration of estimates in committee is capped at 80 hours per session, the House adopted a motion to allocate an additional 80 hours to accommodate for a second budget in the same session.

Appointment of Legislative Officers

The House recommended the appointments of three new legislative officers on December 8:

* Paul Martin as Auditor General for a term of ten years. Mr. Martin worked for Grant Thornton LLP for over 30 years and was the Comptroller for the Government of New Brunswick since 2014.

* Marie-France Pelletier as Ombud for a term of seven years. Ms. Pelletier has held several positions at...

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