Dates set for provincial budget and two by-elections

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Voters in Elmwood and The Pas head to the polls March 24, Premier Gary said today.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/02/2009 (4928 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Voters in Elmwood and The Pas head to the polls March 24, Premier Gary said today.

The two provincial by-elections will see two new MLAs elected in ridings long held by the New Democrats.

Doer also said his government will table a new budget for the coming fiscal year on March 25, the day after the vote.

Whoever is elected in the two ridings won’t be able to take a seat in the legislature immediately.

That’s because there’s a waiting period to deal with any possible vote recounts.

Doer said his government’s spending blueprint is still being worked out, specifically on how much money is flowing from Ottawa on new joint infrastructure projects.

The main focus of the budget will be on how Doer’s government steers the province through what is now a deepening global recession.

"It’s been a tough year," Doer said. "It’s been tough for the last three to four months.

"We’re trying to be balanced in how we move ahead. We still have tough decisions to make."

The province has said over the past few weeks Manitoba will weather the economic downturn better than other provinces because its economy is more diversified. Ontario, British Columbia and most recently Alberta have forecasted budget deficits for the coming year.

Doer said his government will tap into its fiscal stabilization fund which sits at a $818 million. However, about one-quarter of that is dedicated to health care and reducing waiting times.

The legislature will sit until early June.

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

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