Home » News » Manitoba Projects Nearing $2B, Cites Hydro Losses

Manitoba Projects Nearing $2B, Cites Hydro Losses

March 22, 2024 1:30 PM | News

Adrien Sala

Manitoba Finance Minister Adrien Sala looks on during a meeting at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski)

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government says its deficit has surged due to Manitoba Hydro losses, tax cuts, and healthcare agreements.

Finance Minister Adrien Sala expects the deficit to reach nearly $2 billion by March 31, up from the initial $363 million forecasted last year and exceeding the $1.6 billion projected in December.

Dry weather and low water levels result in a $190-million loss for Manitoba Hydro. Additionally, wage increases in healthcare collective agreements, not budgeted by the previous government, add to the deficit.

“We know the previous government hid the true picture of Manitoba’s books and our administration is dealing with those inherited challenges,” said Sala.

“We’re dealing with a bad situation, but we have a plan to implement fiscal responsibility in our health system and launch reviews into prior budgetary decisions within service delivery organizations.”

The decision to suspend the provincial fuel tax for at least six months further strains finances, costing approximately $82 million in the first three months.

The NDP’s choice in January to temporarily halt the provincial fuel tax for a minimum of six months is further contributing to the deficit, estimated to incur an approximate $82 million loss to the treasury within the initial three months.

Watch Friday’s news conference:

YouTube video

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