Newfoundland's minority Liberals survive first confidence vote
Premier Dwight Ball addresses the crowd after winning the provincial election, in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador on May 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Newfoundland and Labrador's minority Liberal government survived its first confidence vote Wednesday morning as a prelude to the formal approval of this year's budget later in the day.
The motion to approve the government's general budgetary policy passed by a vote of 23 to 14 in the House of Assembly.
The Progressive Conservative caucus voted against the motion, criticizing the Liberals for ignoring the party's suggestions.
A vote to grant the budget supply came later Wednesday, passing before the House of Assembly adjourned until July 23.
The morning vote was the first major hurdle overcome by Premier Dwight Ball's government since it was re-elected May 16 with one seat shy of the 21 needed for a majority -- a rare departure for a province that typically elects majority governments.
The budget motion was supported by the NDP's caucus of three and by one independent member, Paul Lane, who said he voted for the budget to avoid another election.
A news release from the official opposition said the PC caucus voted in principle against the "flawed budget" that the Liberals "stubbornly refused to amend," while knowing that the government had enough backing to avoid defeat.