06/01/2012 01:44 EDT | Updated 08/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Bill would remove legislature from efforts to fix Saint John pension

FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government is moving quickly on a request from Saint John City Council by introducing a bill today to repeal the city's pension legislation.

The request was made Wednesday, just two days after the new council was sworn in.

If the bill passes, it would mean the financially beleaguered pension plan would be governed under a municipal bylaw and any changes would not have to be approved by the legislature.

However the council would still need the approval of the superintendent of pensions before it makes any changes.

The pension, which covers city employees, police and firefighters, has a deficit of more than $190 million.

The city has cut services this year in an effort to pay some of the shortfall and has proposed pension changes such as suspending cost of living increases.

Jamie Hachey, president of the Saint John Police Association, says he supports pension reform, but is upset that the union wasn't notified a bill would be going to the legislature so quickly.