Echoing sentiments expressed in the weeks leading up to today’s budget, the Manitoba government emphasized investment in what it identifies as key areas – Health, Child Care, Education, and ongoing COVID response received a boost in Heather Stefanson’s first budget since becoming Premier late last year.
Budget 2022-23 increases spending overall, but also sees higher revenues driven by rising resource revenue and federal transfers. Manitoba has significantly reduced its forecast deficit and included a plan to reach budgetary balance in seven years.
- Revenues of $19.4B, up from $17.8B last year
- Expenses of $19.9B(Includes $630M in contingency and COVID spending), up from $19.4B in 2020-21
- Deficit of $548M, down from the previously forecast $1.6B
- Balanced budget in 7 years
- Health spending up to new high of $7.2B, increasing 1.6%
- $110M to address surgical backlogs, more than doubling from $50M last year
- $17M to implement year one of the five-year A Pathway to Mental Health and Community Wellness: A Roadmap for Manitoba
- Increasing the education property tax rebate to 50% by 2023
- Introduction of a Residential Renters Tax Credit
- Expanding eligibility for $10/day childcare
Additional Key Items
- $50M new Venture Capital Fund
- $5M for immigrant attraction programs
- $50M over two years for accelerating the remediation and rehabilitation of orphaned and abandoned mine sites
- $100M for enhanced flood protection
- $3,2B in capital projects, including Manitoba Hydro for the first time and rising by $200M in other areas
- $578.5 million in capital projects for highways including projects funded under the Manitoba Restart Capital Program.
- $812M in capital investment for rural and northern health care
- New school funding with the goal of 22 new schools by 2027
Premier Stefanson’s first budget comes at a time when her party is viewed as having a tough road to the next election. There is certainly time to build momentum with the vote set for the fall of 2023. If this budget lands positively with Manitobans, it could be a springboard to higher numbers for the PC party.
With the government’s fairly middle-of-the-road approach, the NDP Official Opposition may not have any new angles of attack on the government’s priorities. Leader Wab Kinew and his caucus have been calling on the government to act on key issues such as the surgical backlog, pandemic response, and child care for some time now, and that is likely to continue.
If you have questions about what this budget means for your sector, business, or association, please reach out to the Counsel Public Affairs team: