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Bill 9 passes after all nighter at Alberta legislature

Last Updated Jun 20, 2019 at 7:09 am MDT

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EDMONTON – After more than 24 hours of debate that went through the night, Alberta’s bargaining rights bill has passed.

The final vote was 29-8 in favour of passing Bill 9.

Finance Minister Travis Toews said government intends to hold hearings for public sector workers this this fall but didn’t have an exact time.

Last week, Toews introduced the bill that would delay wage hearings for 180-thousand public sector employees, including nurses and teachers.

READ MORE: Labour leaders, Opposition furious with ‘bully bill’

Those hearings are supposed to be going on between now and the next few months and are part of current collective bargaining agreements.

Toews’ bill will push the arbitration until the start of November.

He says they want time to get more information on Alberta’s finances before sitting down to negotiate with unions.

Government House leader Jason NIxon says the will of the majority has to be respected.

“It’s becoming quite clear that it’s the opposition’s intent to paralyze the legislature and to stop the legislative agenda of this place moving forward.”

However, the Opposition NDP and the Alberta Federation of Labour say this is all a smokescreen.

They believe the province has no intention of holding arbitration hearings and is laying the groundwork to impose public sector wage cuts.

One MLA, NDP Thomas Dang said he even saw Premier Jason Kenney handing out earplugs in the legislature.

“Those earplugs are so that they don’t have to listen to what workers want to say and what to debate today.”