Premier muses about snap election in New Brunswick amid labour dispute

Blaine Higgs

There's talk of a possible snap election in New Brunswick, where the province's minority Progressive Conservative government has been in power for less than a year.

Premier Blaine Higgs floated the idea after the New Brunswick Court of Appeal decided the province's bid to make nursing home workers essential service workers was unconstitutional.

The ruling upheld a decision earlier this year from the Court of Queen's Bench, which ordered the province to bring the law in line with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by January 2020.

Premier Blaine Higgs said Wednesday he's prepared to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada or to call an election to resolve the issue.

The province has 30 days to seek leave to appeal, but Opposition critics say the government should return to the bargaining table.

Higgs says he feels so strongly about the issue that he's prepared to make it an election issue.

The union has asked for a three per cent wage increase in each year of a four-year deal, but the premier says the province can't afford what the workers are asking for.