National Newswatch

N.B. deputy premier quits minority Tory government over health-care reforms

Feb 14 2020 — Kevin Bissett — SHIPPAGAN, N.B. — New Brunswick's governing Progressive Conservatives saw their deputy premier quit in protest over health-care reforms Friday, leaving the minority government in the precarious position of facing a confidence vote or possibly calling an early election. Robert Gauvin told constituents in his riding of Shippagan-Lameque-Miscou he will sit as an Independent, dealing a blow to the […]

Government backbencher won’t support nighttime closure of Sussex ER

Feb 13 2020 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — Just a day after New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs conceded that a growing backlash to his government's health-care reforms could hurt him politically, one of his own backbenchers spoke out against the changes. Bruce Northrup issued a statement Thursday to say he cannot support the decision to eliminate the overnight emergency hours at […]

Opposition mounting to ER closures, other health-care reforms in New Brunswick

Feb 12 2020 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's premier concedes that the growing backlash to health-care reforms including closing the emergency rooms of six community hospitals during the overnight hours may hurt him politically. A defiant Blaine Higgs addressed reporters Wednesday, saying his government is convinced it is doing the right things to ensure the sustainability of the health-care system. […]

Six community hospital ERs in N.B. to begin closing overnight, minister says

Feb 11 2020 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — Emergency rooms in six community hospitals in New Brunswick will begin to close overnight starting next month to allow resources to be directed to other services during the day. The closures are among a list of changes announced Tuesday by the CEOs of the province's two regional health authorities and Health Minister Hugh Flemming. […]

New Brunswick premier says necessary changes coming to health care system

Feb 10 2020 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — The premier of New Brunswick is warning of changes coming to the province's health care system. Blaine Higgs issued a statement Monday saying the current health care model is not working and New Brunswickers deserve better. He said the two regional health authorities have been asked to find solutions to the problems. "To put […]

New Brunswick premier issues call to action with state of province speech

Jan 30 2020 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — Premier Blaine Higgs says it's time to imagine a "new" New Brunswick, and he is setting goals to increase the population and grow the economy. Higgs issued the call to action Thursday as he delivered his annual state of the province address to a business audience in Fredericton. "There is an obvious gap between where […]

New Brunswick adding nurse practitioners to improve access to primary care

Jan 27 2020 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's regional health authorities are adding 32 nurse practitioners to emergency departments and clinics in an effort to improve access to primary care. Health Minister Hugh Flemming says the move will improve wait times at four emergency rooms and reduce the provincial wait-list for a family doctor or nurse practitioner by more than […]

N.B. minister unconcerned by online threats over mandatory vaccination law

Jan 21 2020 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's education minister is brushing off threats he says have been directed at him and his family as the result of his efforts to bring in mandatory vaccinations for children in the province. Dominic Cardy says he's not bothered by the alleged threats from so-called anti-vaxxers, which he says have come through social […]

New Brunswick government seeking public input on child welfare legislation

Jan 15 2020 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government has launched a public consultation process aimed at crafting new child and youth welfare legislation. Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard says the government is also looking to improve the child protection system. "It's more than just child protection. It means ensuring parents and families are able to obtain services […]

New Brunswick receives eight proposals to privatize cannabis sales

Jan 13 2020 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government has received eight responses to a request for proposals for the operation, distribution and sales of recreational cannabis in the province. The government issued the call for proposals in November, saying that losses incurred by Cannabis NB — the provincial cannabis corporation — persuaded the government it was time to […]

New Brunswick premier hopeful for development of small nuclear reactors

Dec 30 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — The premier of New Brunswick says the development of small nuclear reactors may be the answer to the economic and clean-energy needs of the province. In a year-end interview with The Canadian Press, Blaine Higgs says the small modular reactors being developed in New Brunswick will be able to provide energy while addressing […]

New Brunswick government narrowly passes legislation affecting nursing homes

Dec 20 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government on Friday narrowly passed changes to legislation to limit the number of nursing home workers who are able to go on strike. The changes to the Essential Services in Nursing Homes Act passed by a vote of 24-22 as the three members of the People's Alliance party sided with the minority […]

New Brunswick auditor general says vulnerable children at risk in group homes

Dec 3 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's auditor general says vulnerable children in group homes are at risk because of poor planning, ineffective standards and weak monitoring by the Department of Social Development. Kim MacPherson says the failure to adequately manage the placement and care of the children can result in suicide attempts, addictions, long-term mental health challenges […]

Opposition growing to use of notwithstanding clause for vaccination bill

Nov 28 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — Opposition politicians say New Brunswick's Progressive Conservative government is being too heavy-handed by invoking the notwithstanding clause to shield mandatory vaccination legislation against charter challenges. Education Minister Dominic Cardy says the proposed law — making vaccinations mandatory for children in schools and daycares unless they have a medical exemption — is needed to protect students against outbreaks of […]

Tougher rules coming to make driving on New Brunswick highways safer

Nov 26 2019 — Kevin Bissett — FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick government is introducing a series of changes to the Motor Vehicle Act in an effort to improve safety on the roads. Under the changes, tow trucks, highway maintenance vehicles and utility vehicles with flashing lights will be added to so-called "Move Over, Slow Down" provisions. Until now only police, fire and […]