N.B. political consensus fractures over temporary foreign workers amid push to recall legislature

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Disagreements over the decision to ban temporary foreign workers from New Brunswick are exposing cracks in the political consensus that has ruled the province’s COVID-19 response.

Premier Blaine Higgs announced the decision to bar seasonal foreign workers on Tuesday, which has drawn criticism from opposition parties as well as the industries that employ the workers.

Both the agriculture and seafood sectors depend on foreign labour and have questioned the government’s decision.

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On the day of the announcement, Higgs said he had the support of the all-party cabinet. But that support appears to not have been unanimous.

“If there is general consensus it seems that decisions are made,” said Green Party leader David Coon.

“Unanimity is not part of the decision-making process.”


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Coon also suggested that the decision was made in a “pressure-cooker situation” where about 175 workers were about to board planes for the province.

5:28Coronavirus outbreak: New Brunswick minister says job protections in place for workers

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Coronavirus outbreak: New Brunswick minister says job protections in place for workers

A release from Liberal MLA Isabelle Thériault said the “last-minute decision,

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