The 2018 Manitoba budget fails to address some of the province’s most urgent problems, especially in the North, according to Unifor.
“Premier Brian Pallister is failing Manitoba’s most vulnerable,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “There is a stunning indifference to the struggles of Manitobans who are falling farther and farther behind.”
The third provincial budget under Premier Brian Pallister is silent on the crisis facing the primarily First Nations Northern Manitoba communities still lacking rail service since May 2017 when the line was flooded. Without rail access, food and other supplies must be flown in, driving up the cost of basic necessities.
The budget also fails to make plans for meaningful poverty reduction or tackling housing challenges faced by low-income Manitobans. The rental housing stock in Manitoba could suffer as a result of the 2018 budget because the rental housing construction tax credit was cut (effective 2019).
“The Progressive Conservative donor class will be satisfied, but it’s hard to imagine many working people benefitting from the 2018 budget,” said Joie Warnock, Western Regional Director.
Health care and education spending also did not keep up with inflation and population growth, resulting in a de facto spending cut that follows several closures in 2017.