HALIFAX - Debate on third and final reading of essential services legislation aimed at ending a strike by 2,400 nurses who staff Halifax area hospitals is underway in the Nova Scotia legislature.
Labour Minister Kelly Regan moved that the bill enter third reading shortly after midnight.
She told the legislature the proposed bill will ensure patient safety while protecting the right of unionized health care employees to strike.
Opposition Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says his party will vote against the legislation because it promotes labour strife and doesn't protect patients.
The NDP says it will also vote against legislation that targets health care workers and does nothing to address safe staffing levels in hospitals.
The nurses have been on the picket line since 7 a.m. Thursday and it's expected they will return to work once the bill is passed.