Province to allocate up to $1B on COVID-19 spending
WINNIPEG -- The Province of Manitoba has announced it will be allocating up to $1 billion in additional COVID-19 pandemic-related spending, with half going to health-care costs.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister made the announcement in a news release, saying the move will increase the provinces spending power in the wake of "significant fiscal pressures."
Pallister made this announcement on Wednesday, during an emergency COVID-19 meeting at the Manitoba Legislature with MLAs.
He said this is caused by the necessary shutdown of parts of Manitoba's economy and the large expenses that were not budgeted for, brought about by the pandemic.
“By increasing our spending power, we have funds at hand to quickly help those in need," Pallister said in the news release. "Whether it’s delivering personal protective equipment and other resources to front-line workers, helping families through access to child care and other supports, and aiding businesses through tax deferrals and other measures."
Half of the funding, $500 million has been allocated for the Health Services Insurance Fund, $400 million has been allocated for the internal service adjustments appropriations of government, and $100 million for emergency expenditures, according to estimates of expenditure documents that were tabled on Wednesday.
“We want to ensure we have available funds to meet anticipated and unexpected costs this fiscal year as a result of the pandemic,” Finance Minister Scott Fielding said in a news release. “We are closely monitoring the costs and resources required across government, such as procurement costs for PPE and other medical supplies for the health-care system, as well as funds needed by other departments, such as Manitoba Justice and Manitoba Families, to keep facilities safe for the Manitobans who rely on them.”
Pallister said full documentation of the additional funds spent will be provided in the second quarter financial update.
The premier is scheduled to speak at 3:15 p.m. CTV News Winnipeg will livestream the event.
The emergency meeting can be watched online here.