Legislation introduced Thursday in the New Brunswick legislature would continue Home Energy Assistance Program for five years and expand on some aspects of the program. 

Finance Minister Cathy Rogers tabled the legislation, saying the government has chosen a path of a modest return to balanced budgets by 2020, rather than deeper cuts to balance the budget more quickly.

The proposed legislation would renew the program through 2021. Without the amendments, the program would end with the 2016 benefit.

Participating in the announcement were Finance Minister Cathy Rogers and Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman. [GOVNB][/caption]As part of the Strategic Program Review, Rogers says money was set aside in the budget to continue the program. The Home Energy Assistance Program had provided a one-time payment of $100 to families with a total income of $28,000 or less. Under legislation introduced today, the program would be extended for five years and the income threshold would be expanded to $30,000. Applications for the program will be accepted beginning in early January.

Other programs energy programs available to eligible residents include the low-income seniors benefit, the heating allowance, the emergency fuel benefit and the fuel supplement.