Manitoba’s 2024 budget heavy on health care, housing, affordability

From Global News.

On Tuesday, Manitoba’s 2024 budget was unveiled, and unsurprisingly, it contained a heavy focus on improvements to the provincial health-care system.

“(The budget is) a significant document that charts a very positive path forward,” Premier Wab Kinew said. “We’re delivering on a huge number of commitments we made in the recent provincial election." In his inaugural budget as finance minister, Adrien Sala said the government intends to make good on many of those promises, with a record $8.2 billion — representing a 13.5 per cent increase — slated for health spending.

“For years we’ve heard about the frustrations and burnout from patients and from health-care workers,” Sala said.

The budget accounts for the hiring of 1,000 health-care workers — 100 doctors, 210 nurses, 90 paramedics, and 600 health-care aides. Kinew said on Tuesday that the province would like to exceed those numbers if possible. As expected, the province has committed to extending the gas tax holiday for an additional three months.

Initially put in place Jan. 1, the finance minister said the tax holiday was extended in part due to the Imperial Oil pipeline shutdown last month, which had a temporary impact on fuel availability for Winnipeg and the surrounding area. The government is continuing its goal to end chronic homelessness in Manitoba within two terms, with $8 million in the 2024 budget set aside to help families at risk of homelessness to afford clean and safe housing.

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