chvnradio.com

Now Playing What just played?

THE COLOR

ONE SURE THING

Listen Live

Manitoba’s Finance Minister says tax cuts for individuals and businesses, record spending in a number of areas and a reduced deficit are a good sign of things to come for Manitoba’s economy.

Cameron Friesen spoke to reporters at the Manitoba Legislature just prior to delivering the 2018 budget to the Legislative Assembly. 

“We have met our targets,” Friesen said. “We are doing what we said we would do. We are building trust in government by doing good work on behalf of those who put us here and at the same time we are working for those who need our care and concern.”

Friesen said Budget 2018 reduces the provincial deficit by $319 million from Budget 2017.

He also touted the government’s increased spending in the Education and Training, Health, Seniors and Active Living and Families departments.

While Friesen says the 2018 budget follows through on promises the province has made, the opposition and some community leaders disagree.

NDP leader Wab Kinew says the budget was full of “broken promises” and will negatively affect front-line services, which he says Pallister has vowed to protect.

Kinew also expressed frustration over the government’s decision to decrease funding in a number of areas. He’s concerned about funding cuts to post-secondary institutions, the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and highways infrastructure funding, which includes the building and repairing of highways and all weather roads.

In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, funding for highways infrastructure was at $502 million. The province has lowered it to $350 million this year.

Kinew believes it could be a great opportunity to create jobs.

“As the snow melts and the potholes emerge and Manitobans don’t see the road repairs they’re expecting, they should ask the government why that opportunity isn’t being used to put people to work at a time when we have an issue with the unemployment rate,” Kinew said.

Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck was also surprised by the significant cut in spending for highway repairs. He says this budget doesn’t do much to ease the concerns of Manitoba workers or Manitobans looking for work.

“This budget was a missed opportunity,” Rebeck said. “The economy is slowing down and people were looking for job creation from this government."

"Instead they’re seeing reductions.”

Other main highlights outlined in the 2018 provincial budget include:

  • Increasing the threshold under which people pay no income tax by $2,020 over a two year period
  • Raising the small business tax threshold to $500,000 from $450,000, a move the province says will save businesses $6,000 a year and put $7 million back into the economy each year starting in 2019
  • Investing $102 million dollars to establish a conservation trust to fund projects under the Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan
  • Investing a record $6.2 billion in Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, including an additional $14 million for the Home Cancer Drug Program, $7.7 million for expanded dialysis treatment and $3.1 million for rare disease drugs and the creation of 60 new paramedic positions
  • Decreasing ambulance fees 32 per cent from $425 to $340
  • Increasing funding to Manitoba Families by $60.5 million, $13 million of which will go towards Community Living DisABILITY services
  • Increasing education funding by $13.7 million and confirming the construction of five new schools
  • Confirming funding to complete the ‘Freedom Road’ and other infrastructure projects
  • Partnering with the federal government to invest $176.8 million in agricultural initiatives
  • Investing in Look North, the long term plan for growth and promoting tourism in Northern Manitoba
  • Committing $16 million to re-establish the Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit

The province did not include cannabis legalization in the budget. Friesen says they made that decision because they don’t know how much money they are going to make from those revenues yet.

The province did, however, include its carbon pricing plan, which is set to take effect in September and will introduce a carbon tax of $25 per tonne over a five year period.

Friesen also said the government is still on track to lower the PST from 8 per cent to 7 per cent by 2020, which would fulfill one of Premier Brian Pallister’s main promises from when he was elected in 2016.

Share this story!

Bullet stopped by Lord's Prayer

A woman from Kanas City is thanking the Lord for her life after being protected from harm…

London police now admit to driving preacher away

A street preachers arrest resulted in him being driven to a remote area before being left…

Leisure Guide and swimming lesson registration opens Tuesday

It's not summer yet, but you can already get your kids in the pool with spring swimming…

'Tragedy averted' when man attempts to shoot officer but gun fails

The president of the Winnipeg Police Association says tragedy was averted when someone…

Asylum seeker in labour rescued stuck in deep snow

Emergency responders rescued an asylum seeker near Emerson on the weekend.

UPDATE: Fog advisory now ended for southern Manitoba

UPDATE: The fog advisory has now been lifted for southern Manitoba.

Latest flood forecast has Red exceeding 2009 levels

The Red River and its tributaries will see substantial flooding this spring, according to…

UPDATE: 2 pedestrians hit by car - child taken to hospital in critical condition

Police are pleading for witnesses to come forward after a child and adult were struck by…

1,000 kids attend 204 youth rally in Winnipeg

What started off as a conference with 300 students three years ago has now outgrown two…

From many miscarriages to triplets

A Winnipeg Christian author has written a book about her journey from experiencing…

RCMP say missing man has been safely located

Lac Du Bonnet RCMP say that a 67-year-old who had not been hear from since February has…

Death and new life in Winnipeg's art and culture scene

Two artists showing now at the Mennonite Heritage Gallery explore life and death in…

Thank a driver: Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Today is Transit Driver Appreciation Day!

Police investigating homicide in West End

The Winnipeg Police Service say that a serious incident in Winnipeg's West End has turned…

2019 campground reservations open today

If camping is part of your to do list this summer, Monday is the day to start booking…

Word of God reaches 20,000 at one of the world's wildest, biggest parties

Missionaries from across Europe teamed up with North Americans to hand out Bibles and…

LOVECOLLIDE takes home Christian Juno

The DeLeary sisters gave thanks to Jesus and pointed to their Indigenous roots as they…

Evangelical leaders in Latin America asking for day of prayer March 17

"In the last hours the sociopolitical crisis in Venezuela has worsened, where the biggest…

Police asking for assistance in early morning homicide

The Winnipeg Police Service is asking for people to come forward who may have witnessed…

Tow truck struck on highway while assisting motorists

For the second time in three weeks, an emergency vehicle with lights activated and…