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This article was published 11/4/2017 (1912 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Salary cost-cutting runs throughout the Progressive Conservative government’s second budget, billed as "responsible recovery" with modest spending increases in key areas of health, education, justice and infrastructure.
The province plans to spend a little more than $100 million more for health care this year – the smallest increase in recent years. New spending includes:
$1.7 million to begin universal screening of newborn hearing
$8.8 million more to expand kidney dialysis and treatment
$1.6 million for more support of mental health services
$9.5 million for new cancer drugs, and $6.5 million to lower ambulance fees for Manitobans
The province will also pay for two replacement ambulances for the City of Winnipeg and will spend $1 million so three provincial nursing stations can continue to operate
The province is spending $36 million more, including reducing barriers low income students face in accessing post-secondary education.
The province will transform the Manitoba Bursary Program into a grant available to students while they study
Tuition Fee Income Tax Rebate will be reduced this year and eliminated next year and the Advance Tuition Fee Income Tax Rebate will be eliminated this year
The province will provide $1.3 billion to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12
The Manitoba Families budget is up by $105 million, a 5.4 per cent increase from last year. The province wants to begin reducing child-care waiting lists by adding 501 new licenced child-care spaces and 50 new home-based child-care spaces.
$12.8 million more will be spent to increase the number and quality of affordable housing
$85 million will go to Employment Income and the Rental Assistance programming clients
The province won’t change the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit.
Around $8 million will help refugees who are no longer eligible for federal settlement support.
The province will spend an additional $12 million on Manitoba Justice, which the government says will help ease the backlog in criminal courts.
The Manitoba Prosecutions Branch will see an increase from $33 million to $34 million while Legal Aid Manitoba gets the same $32.3 million it received last year
Consumer protection budget, which includes facilitation of consumer-business disputes and tenant-landlord disputes, has been cut slightly to $11.7 million from $12 million budgeted last year
The province will invest $1.7 billion on infrastructure this year, inlcuding for health care and education with a focus on flood protection. "Strategic" investment inlcudes:
$747 million for roads, highways, bridges and flood protection
$641 million for health, education, and housing infrastructure
"Up to" $370 million for municipal, local and provincial infrastructure
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.