HALIFAX—The Nova Scotia legislature resumes sitting Monday night to force a resolution to the ongoing contract dispute with teachers, though the Opposition leader is calling for the sitting to be put off due to the threat of an expected winter storm.
Premier Stephen McNeil’s government is to introduce a bill that will “bring an end” to the dispute that has seen teachers reject three contract offers and launch a work-to-rule campaign.
The Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the opposition parties have condemned the use of legislation, saying it takes away teacher’s rights.
The union is demanding its members be allowed to speak when the opportunity comes to propose amendments to whatever bill the government brings forward.
Opposition leader Jamie Baillie issued a statement late Sunday calling for the Liberals to delay introducing their bill because of the forecasted storm that has prompted the provincial government to close all its mainland offices Monday.
Baillie says the potential of dangerous driving conditions is a safety concern for not only those who work at the legislature, but also teachers, students and parents who might want to see and take part in the legislative debate.
“There is no emergency facing Nova Scotia students that warrants any risk to safety associated with opening the Nova Scotia House of Assembly on Monday, February 13th,” said the statement.
The opposition leaders say they will do everything possible to hold up the bill through procedural delays, but acknowledged the Liberals can use their majority to bulldoze a bill through the house.
The teachers suspended their work-to-rule campaign last month after the latest tentative contract was hammered out, but said it was to resume this week.