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Crown attorneys continue their protest outside the legislature in Halifax on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia’s Liberal government today held off on enacting legislation that would have forced striking Crowns back to work, promising to return to the negotiating table next week.

Bill 203 passed into law late in the day, but Justice Minister Mark Furey says it isn’t being proclaimed and the province will resume talks early in the week in hopes of resolving the wage dispute.

The minister says he believes the parties can “work towards a negotiated settlement,” though a day earlier he’d accused prosecutors of putting their personal financial interests ahead of the needs of crime victims.

The legislation removes a negotiated right to binding arbitration the province had agreed to in 2016. In its place, it allows Crowns the right to strike so long as essential services are provided.

The Nova Scotia Crown Attorneys’ Association says the law would strip them of all negotiating power, as all prosecutors are likely to be considered essential workers.

Perry Borden, the president of the association, said his union is expecting good faith negotiations.

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