Tories survive throne speech vote, plan to end ban on fracking

Premier Blaine Higgs says his government will change regulations to allow limited shale gas development and could have it done before the end of the year.

The throne speech of the minority Tory government passed in the legislature today, including a sub-amendment that urges government to allow limited natural gas development in the Sussex area.

Saint John Harbour Liberal MLA Gerry Lowe voted with the Tories and the People's Alliance parties to support the sub-amendment, but he voted with his party and the three Green members in opposition of the throne speech.

Lowe says increased activity for the LNG terminal near Saint John would mean more tax dollars flowing into his riding.

The governing Tories still won the confidence vote 25-23, and Higgs says that gives him the ability to amend the province's fracking moratorium without a further vote of the legislature.

The Tories took power earlier this month after the Liberals were defeated in the confidence vote on their throne speech following the September election.