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Manitoba budget promises billions in spending

On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, Manitoba’s Finance Minister, Cliff Cullen, outlined the 2023 provincial budget.

“At a time when Manitobans need it most, Budget 2023 will help people across all areas of family and community life while we work hard to create economic opportunities,” Cullen said. “This budget is about doing everything possible for Manitobans at a time when they need it most.”

The province has promised $7.9 billion will be invested in the health-care system which is an increase of $668 million over last years budget:

  • $130 million to reduce the diagnostic and surgical backlog;
  • continuing to invest $200 million into the Health Human Resource Action Plan;
  • a $120-million infusion to the Manitoba Pharmacare Program including extending coverage
    for insulin pumps for eligible adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes;
  • $1.2 billion in multi-year capital investments in rural hospitals and other health
    infrastructure, in addition to renovations in Winnipeg to St. Boniface Hospital, Grace
    Hospital, CancerCare Manitoba and Health Sciences Centre;
  • creating a new hearing aid program for seniors;
  • an additional $15.9 million to advance initiatives under the seniors strategy;
  • $55 million to implement recommendations from the Stevenson report on long-term care;
  • ongoing funding for RAAM clinics, including a new clinic in Winnipeg, which will be
    Indigenous-led through a partnership with the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre.

More than $100 million has been earmarked to address violent crime and homelessness:

  • $51.8 million for Manitoba’s Violent Crime Strategy over two years, with $34.6 million
    allocated this year;
  • more than $51 million for Manitoba’s Homelessness Strategy;
  • $3.6 million for the Downtown Community Safety Partnership to build a safer, more inviting
    downtown Winnipeg for businesses and residents;
  • $100,000 to support ongoing operations of the Winnipeg Bear Clan Patrol Inc.;
  • $9.4 million for 1,000 new treatment spaces for providers of substance-use and addictions
    treatment services across Manitoba;
  • $1 million to support expansion of crisis stabilization unit beds and tele-psychiatry services
    to expand access to Manitobans living in rural and remote communities;
  • $1.5 million in child and youth mental health services to improve access and reduce wait
    times; and
  • $600,000 for flexible-length community residential withdrawal management beds in

$47 million more in municipal operating funding bringing it to $217 million:

  • $268.5 million in capital expenditures to build, renovate and expand more schools;
  • $100 million in new funding for school divisions;
  • more than $81 million to Community Living and Children’s disABILITY Services agencies
    for a funded average wage of $19 per hour, bringing the total budget for disability services
    to  $640 million this year;
  • $76.1 million to reduce regulated parent fees for child care to $10 per day;
  • $8.7 million to support recycling, composting and waste diversion initiatives;
  • $50 million for the Arts, Culture and Sport in Community Fund; and
  • $10 million to support a new Parks Capital Plan.

Tax and affordability measures providing $5,500 in total savings for the average two-income family by 2024:

  • $311 million in tax relief through increases to the Provincial Basic Personal Amount in
    2023, saving the average two-income family more than $1,000 in income taxes this year;
  • $160 million to increase income tax bracket thresholds to $47,000 and $100,000 in 2024;
  • combined, the Provincial Basic Personal Amount and tax bracket enhancements will save
    the average two-income family more than $1,250 in 2024;
  • increasing the School Tax Rebate to 50 per cent on farm and residential properties, saving
    the average homeowner $774 this year;
  • $190 million to reduce payments charged to Manitoba Hydro, saving Manitoba Hydro and
    ratepayers more than $4 billion over the next 20 years;
  • increases to the minimum wage in April and October, bringing it to more than $15 per hour;

Other investments include:

  • more than $2.5 billion in trade-enabling highway infrastructure over the next five years
  •  a total of up to $160.4 million on an ongoing basis for cost-shared investments in municipal
    capital projects including water and wastewater projects;
  • $147.6 million over two years in the Hudson Bay rail line to the Port of Churchill;
  • an additional $50-million contribution to the venture capital fund to grow businesses in
  • $2.3 million to increase the payroll tax exemption and the reduced rate threshold;
  • $92.5 million in funding to support post-secondary education and the labour market;
  • $2 million for the expansion of the Newcomer Community Integration Support Program;
  • $103.1-million contribution to AgriInsurance premiums to help protect producers against
    crop production shortfalls caused by adverse weather events; and
  • increased investments in mining activities, expanding opportunities for northern and
    Indigenous communities.

“In the last year, the Manitoba economy emerged faster and stronger than anyone could have anticipated with more Manitobans working than ever before,’’ said Premier Heather Stefanson. “Budget 2023 reinvests every cent of new revenue to help Manitobans and our most vital services – all accomplished while keeping the province on track to eliminate the deficit.”



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