Mister Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the house today to inform my colleagues that our government continues to meet the commitments it has made to the people of New Brunswick. Later today, I will give first reading to a bill entitled Small Claims Act.

As Premier David Alward pledged during the last election campaign, our government will proceed with the re-introduction of small claims courts in the province and we will ensure the small claims court system is working for New Brunswickers.

The re-introduction of the small claims court will allow us to replace a system that had been introduced by the previous Liberal administration – a flawed system that was inefficient and ineffective.

We have consulted extensively with the New Brunswick Law Society and the Canadian Bar Association – New Brunswick branch -- and I would personally like to thank the members of those organizations for their time and contribution to the process.

Based on those consultations, we have decided to increase the maximum allowable claim to $12,500, rather than the $10,000 limit that we had originally planned.

The small claims court system will oversee cases that come in under the $12,500 threshold and we are committed to reviewing that amount in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I’m certain all my colleagues will want to join with me in celebrating this good news of yet another campaign commitment met by our government.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.