Three years ago, Manitobans chose a new direction for our province. After 17 years of mismanagement by the previous government that left us with a growing debt, the longest health care wait times in Canada and the worst education outcomes, Manitobans chose a new path.
They elected our government to fix the finances, repair services, and rebuild our economy – and we’re getting the job done.
FIXING OUR FINANCES
The former government left our province with a deficit approaching $1 billion annually. Budget 2019 reduces the deficit to $360 million, and ends the years of growth in our debt-to-GDP ratio.
REPAIRING OUR SERVICES
Each year we have increased our investments in health care, in education, and for families to the highest levels in Manitoba history. Budget 2019 continues this trend.
Funding for health care is increased by $47.8 million, including money for additional paramedics, Pharmacare, and addictions treatment. Funding for K-12 education is increased by $6.6 million, while the K-12 capital budget increases by $56.1 million to $202.2 million. It will pay for structural repairs, roof replacements, new mechanical systems and accessibility projects for schools across the province.
REBUILDING OUR ECONOMY
Manitoba is once again open for business, and the world is showing their confidence that we are a place to invest and grow. Manitoba has led the nation in private capital investment this past year, and we’re on pace to be among the leading provinces again this year.
Budget 2019 keeps our commitment to spend at least $1 billion annually on strategic infrastructure such as roads and bridges, flood protection, hospitals, schools, universities and colleges. It allocates $350 million in funding for highways and $45 million for special Manitoba 150 infrastructure projects.
REDUCING MANITOBANS’ TAX BURDEN
A recent study found that more that more than one-half of Manitoba families have less than $200 remaining after paying their bills each month. The prospect of higher interest rates, higher utility bills and tax increases by other levels of government will add to the pressure many families are experiencing.
Budget 2019 responds to this pressure by leaving more money in Manitobans’ pockets. Families will save $1 billion over the next 6 years as a result of the PST cut. A family of four will save approximately $500 per year, and $3,000 in total by 2024.
Manitoba businesses will save more than $130 million annually from the PST cut. Local governments, school divisions, post-secondary institutions, regional health authorities and other government agencies will also benefit from the PST cut. In total, government agencies from all levels will save $16 million annually.
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITIES
Manitoba's operational support for municipalities is among the most generous in Canada. Budget 2019 includes a total of $313.5 million in basket funding for local governments. Our unconditional operating and public safety funding baskets provide municipalities with the flexibility they need to meet local needs, and infrastructure support for planned capital projects.
The City of Winnipeg alone will save approximately $1.7 million annually from the PST cut.
KEEPING MANITOBANS SAFE
Budget 2019 adds 29 positions to Manitoba's RCMP staff, including 27 additional officers. It adds $2.3 million in funding that targets drug-related criminal activity, including meth and gang-related crime prevention. It also allocates an additional $325,000 for victims’ services.
KEEPING OUR PROMISES
In 2016, we promised to reduce the PST to seven per cent. Budget 2019 keeps that promise. We promised to cut ambulance fees to $250 by the end of our first term, and Budget 2019 honours this promise too.
We promised to balance the budget in our second term, and we are on track to honour that commitment.
A BRIGHT FUTURE
We’ve made tremendous progress over the past three years, but considerable challenges remain. We will continue to face those challenges, confident that Manitoba’s best days are ahead of us – and confident that the only thing better than today in Manitoba is tomorrow in Manitoba.
The Honourable Brian Pallister
Premier of Manitoba