Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB - Manitoba Liberals say the PC's 2022 budget is focused on giving PC MLAs ribbons to cut instead of focusing on reinforcing critical systems like health care.
Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface, said the budget was "flimsy" and had over $1-billion in promises that had already been made before.
"They are passing off pouring concrete as investments in health and education, when we have nursing shortages and children going hungry," said Lamont. "This is a lost opportunity to reinforce critical systems like health and education, and making sure Manitobans can fulfill their potential through education."
Lamont said the PC's self-congratulation about their pandemic performance was a sour note, given that it was among the worst in Canada.
The PCs failed to implement a series of measures that would have dramatically improved the lives of many Manitobans, including:
- Investing in mental health and addictions
- Lifting the cap on hip and knee replacements and cataract surgeries to shorten surgical wait times
- Restoring health coverage for international students, who are the biggest pool of future Manitobans
- Implementing a universal nutrition program for K-12 children
- Establishing meaningful partnerships for economic reconciliation with First Nations
- Implementing an Independent Seniors' Advocate
- Meaningful investments in climate change
After two years of a global pandemic, the PCs are extending the freeze on funding for municipalities across the province for a sixth straight year.
The $11 million increase in Manitoba Housing funding is desperately needed due to the decades-long maintenance deficit, but Manitoba Liberals say it is nowhere near enough given the dire state of many complexes.
"People are the economy, people are health care and people are our education system. The PCs promised a change in tone - but the problem was substance, and there's no change there," said Lamont.