By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — The COVID-19 pandemic pushed Manitoba’s deficit for the last fiscal year to a record $2.1 billion.
The audited final report for the fiscal year that ended in March says the government took in far less in income tax than expected as the economy slowed.
Gambling revenues plummeted as casinos and video lottery lounges were closed due to public health orders.
On the spending side, a few departments — including health — ran well over budget as the government responded to the pandemic.
The province is forecasting a $1.5-billion deficit for the current fiscal year, due to more federal transfer payments and a recovering economy.
The consecutive years of red ink are expected to push Manitoba’s total net debt to $30 billion.