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New Brunswick’s premier suggested on Thursday that the province could be among the first areas in Canada to reopen provincial borders, saying that if things continue to improve a decision could come as early as May.

“A lot is depending on the coming weeks,” said Premier Blaine Higgs during a provincial update on Thursday, saying that reopening was contingent on public health orders and testing levels.

Higgs said that the provincial budget presented last month has been tossed out of the window as a result of the pandemic but that it was important to be cautious when looking to re-open businesses.

0:42Coronavirus outbreak: New Brunswick extends state of emergency for 14 days

Coronavirus outbreak: New Brunswick extends state of emergency for 14 days

His government had earmarked a significant amount of money for paying down the province’s debt but admitted that is now unlikely to happen.

“We’ve used up all of our [fiscal capacity]…. we are now in very significant deficit territory and I don’t see that changing anytime soon,” Higgs said.

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“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the coming years… I think we have to be prudent.”

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Higgs’ announcement came after health officials said they had found no new cases of the novel coronavirus in the province on Thursday.


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