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Finance Minister Blaine Higgs brought in legislative amendments on Wednesday that would allow low-income families to qualify for a $100 rebate to pay for home heating bills.

The Progressive Conservative government is bringing back a $100 low-income home heating supplement and it could be in place for early 2011.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs introduced legislative amendments on Wednesday to restore the program, which could deliver rebates to as many as 55,000 people.

"We are pleased to return this popular program, which has helped so many people throughout the province in the past," Higgs said in a statement.

"It will go a long way toward helping those people who have difficulty meeting the challenges of paying for home heating during the coldest months of the year."

The Progressive Conservative government is expected to pass the legislation in time so homeowners, who qualify for the rebates, can start receiving the money in January 2011.

Residents must have a family income of less than $28,000 annually to qualify for the program.

The former Liberal government had developed a contentious home-heating plan that had included private-sector funding and relied on the Salvation Army to deliver the emergency funding.

The Liberals scrapped the plan in 2009 and rolled out a different version last year that was delivered by the provincial government.

David Alward's Progressive Conservatives campaigned on restoring the program in the fall election.