Some good, some bad

Manitoba reacts to federal budget

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Finance Minister Scott Fielding said there are "positive things" for Manitoba in the federal budget, but he was disappointed there was no promise to increased health care transfer payments.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/04/2021 (657 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding said there are “positive things” for Manitoba in the federal budget, but he was disappointed there was no promise to increased health care transfer payments.

Fielding said the province welcomed the boost in child care funding, long-term financial commitments for personal care homes, increased sick-leave provisions and the extension of pandemic-related wage subsidies and commercial rent subsidies.

He said he had hoped for a commitment for greater increases in federal health transfer payments.

MIKE SUDOMA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Manitoba Minister of Finance, Scott Fielding.

“That was the absolute No. 1 issue for all provinces,” he said.

Ottawa said it would spend up to $27.2 billion over five years, starting this fiscal year, to bring the federal share of child-care costs with provinces and territories to 50 per cent.

Fielding said it appears that big child-care dollars will flow to Manitoba, and the province will study the federal commitment carefully.

“That could be a very good thing but we just need to know more details from Ottawa on what that will look like,” he said.

The provincial minister called the increased long-term commitment for personal care home funding “a priority for Manitobans.”

Manitoba has vowed to balance its budget within eight years. Its projected deficit for the current fiscal year is $1.6 billion.

Fielding said he would have liked to have seen a similar detailed plan from Ottawa on how it will slay its massive deficit.

— Larry Kusch

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