Premier Brian Gallant says his government will introduce legislation to impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing before Christmas.
Gallant made the promise on Tuesday in an interview with CBC News ahead of tomorrow's Throne Speech.
There's been speculation about exactly what a moratorium will allow.
Gallant is offering no new details, but says the bill will be introduced soon.
"You can expect that it'll come this session. You can expect that it'll be introduced before Christmas," said Gallant.
"With that said, I don't know if it will pass — obviously as you can understand it will depend on what happens in the legislature and what the opposition decides to do and how the debate unfolds.
"But you can be certain that it will be introduced this session and introduced before Christmas."
Gallant has long promised a moratorium that would prohibit hydraulic fracturing to produce shale gas until more is known about any potential risks to people's health, the water supply and the environment.
The moratorium was a key plank in the campaign platform that lifted Gallant's Liberals to victory in the provincial election in September.
It was held out in contrast to the Progressive Conservative promise to pursue shale gas development and the development of other natural resources to create jobs.
The legislature will also debate a capital budget before Christmas, so it's not clear if there will be enough time to pass the moratorium bill as well.