Manitoba Legislature Building

Manitoba Legislature Building

Manitoba Budget 2017 Maintains

April 11, 2017

Legislative Assembly, Winnipeg

This is second budget of the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Brian Pallister.  While there are no drastic measures, such as major cuts to spending or the elimination of public sector jobs, the budget merely maintains what was in place since Finance Minister Cameron Friesen’s first budget last year.

The PCs assumed the reins of government last year with the biggest deficit in province's history, so to not see drastic measures might represent a welcome balance for some.
The budget seeks to improve the supply of affordable housing by investing $12.8 million in projects through the Social Innovation Fund, under the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation. Related measures include an investment of $85 million to further support Employment, Income and Rental Assistance programming, as well as an increase of almost $12 million to continue to index Rent Assist benefits to 75 per cent of the median market rate. 

Budget 2017 maintains the Primary Caregiver Tax Credit, which, according to Finance officials, represents the most unique and inclusive in Canada. It benefits care providers even if they are not taxable, unlike the credits provided federally, and it benefits Manitobans who care for a family member, friend or loved one regardless of whether they reside together or apart.

A further increase of $18 million is committed to Community Living Disability Services (CLDS). This program delivers a range of supports and services to strengthen opportunities for Manitobans living with an intellectual disability to help achieve their fullest potential through inclusion in society, the economy and labour market.  A key feature of these services is the Building on Abilities (BOA) initiative, which provides long  term sustainability of the CLDS program, equitable access to services, transparency in the development and availability of participants’ support budgets, a renewed commitment to Person Centred Planning and a strength based approach to participant support needs.

One notable measure, and one that is seen increasingly across the country, is Social Impact Bonds. Budget 2017 provides added measures to give extra momentum to the Manitoba’s Social Impact Bonds.  As in other provinces and at the federal level, this is an initiative to be closely watched.

Official budget documents for the Manitoba 2017 Budget may be found at:

Manitoba Budget Stands Pat 

May 31, 2016

Legislative Assembly, Winnipeg

The newly-elected government of premier Brian Pallister delivered the 2016 provincial budget in Winnipeg earlier today, less than six weeks after having been voted in.

With the biggest deficit in province's history, Manitoba's first budget under a PC government in nearly 13 years provides modest increases to health and education, as well as the newly structured Department of Families and maintains most other spending trajectories.

The 2016 Budget delivered by Finance Minister Cameron Friesen, will increase supports for residential care direct service workers through the Community Living disABILITY Services.  Within Children's disABILITY Services the Government will continue support to reduce wait lists for the Children's Therapy initiative, Family Support Services, and Specialized Services for Children and Youth.

Interestingly, the Budget also announces the introduction of social impact bonds, a trend seen nationally in-the the last few years:  "We will engage in consultations with interested partners from business and the community with the goal of increasing social​ supports through innovative social impact bonds>"  And this will be something to carefully watch.

Official budget documents for the Manitoba 2016-2017 Budget may be found at:

Seniors, Caregivers and Minimum Wage Feature prominently

April 30, 2015 - Legislative Assembly, Winnipeg

Finance Minister Greg Dewar delivered the first budget of the government of Premier Greg Selinger since having emerged successfully from the political turmoil surrounding questions of the Premier's leadership.

The focus in this year's Budget​ is squarely on jobs and infrastructure.

There are a handful of increased fees and levies (applications, cigarettes), but the modest spending in key areas of health and social services stand out among most other provincial budgets this year.

The Caregiver Tax Credit, introduced in last year's budget, increases by 10%.  As well, there are increases to the number of home care workers in the Province and the number of home care hours funded.

The Seniors' School Tax Rebate is doubled in this Budget.

The Rent Assist program increases to 75% of the median market rent in order to help low-income families.

And Manitoba's minimum wage will increase to $11 in October of this year.

Official budget documents for the Manitoba 2015-2016 Budget may be found at:

Information specific to programs and services for Manitobans with disabilities may be found at:

Employment a Key Focus in Manitoba's 2014 Budget

March 6, 2014 - Legislative Assembly - Winnipeg

It isn't too often that the Minister responsible for persons with disabilities also happens to be the Minister of Finance.  But such is the case with Minister Jennifer Howard, who, in her first Budget appearance as Finance Minister, earlier today delivered the 2014 spending and revenue priorities for the Government of Premier Greg Selinger.

It is important to remember that it was only a few months ago that Minister Howard's Accessibility for Manitobans Act became law, an historic milestone that saw multiple forms of participation by March of Dimes Canada.  So, do we see anything in the budget providing financial resources to support the new accessibility legislation?

The Minister's Budget Speech makes one mention of the new Act:  "This year we will leverage existing partnerships with the community and with employers to establish a first-in-Manitoba post-secondary program for persons with intellectual disabilities at Red River College.  this will help increase our workforce and build on our historic new Access8ibility for Manitobans Act."

Employment opportunities and supports is the 2014 theme.  Getting people working and contributing to the economy is both the trend in Manitoba as well as the federal and other provincial government this year.

This budget launches Manitoba Works, a program targeted to those facing barriers to the workplace that provides training in partnership with community agencies.

An increased and simplified rental benefit for Manitobans on social assistance was introduced, and better support will be available to help make the transition from welfare to work.

New funding of $5.5 million is committed to build more child-care spaces for families and provide operating grants for child-care centres to support better wages.

And roughly 1,000 new social and affordable housing units was announced in this Budget.

Official budget documents for the Manitoba 2014 Budget may be found at:

Information specific to programs and services for Manitobans with disabilities​ may be found at

Increased Fees, Levies and Taxes to Maintain Core Services

April 16, 2013

Seniors aged 65 and older will no longer pay the provincial education portion of property taxes by 2015, affecting as many as 180,000 seniors (provided they own their own homes).  And the province's minimum wage of $10.25 will rise this fall by 40 cents.

These measures were among the most publicly talked about budget items in the days leading up to today's 2013 Manitoba Budget, delivered in the Legislative Assembly by Finance Minister Stan Struthers.

What also was not surprising was the theme reiterated from most other provincial budgets this year, namely caution due to economic uncertainty and cutbacks fuelled by lower than anticipated economic growth, although not quite as blunt as found elsewhere in the country.

A one percent increase in the provincial sales tax coupled with a dollar-per pack sin tax on smokers in Manitoba will both contribute​ to funding the government's overall departmental spending increase of 2.5% (although upwards of 10 departments will incur either spending freezes or reductions).

Infrastructure and flooding too the lion's share of Manitoba's 2013 budget.

On the social side, however, there are notable measures.

Later in 2013, a report will be tabled in the Legislature that will guide the government's poverty reduction and social inclusion initiatives until 2016.  Although no mention was made by officials today, it is also anticipated that Manitoba's accessibility legislation will be tabled sometime this year.

Budget 2013 also introduces a three-year commitment of $114.3 million for 500 new social housing units, and $25 million for 500 affordable housing units.

The basic income tax exemption will increase by $250 in 2013.  Another increase of $250 will be implemented in 2014.  Raising the basic exemption has the effect of removing low-income taxpayers from the tax rolls.

Manitoba's Strategy for Sustainable Employment and a Stronger Labour Market will be launched this spring.  According to Finance officials, this strategy focuses on those who have faced challenges finding and retaining jobs, and includes: a new approach to workforce development (details to come); restructuring and modernizing Manitoba's EIA transitioning to training and employment.

The proposed increase in fees, levies and the PST received pointed criticism from many groups, arguing that these measures constitute the single biggest tax increases in Manitoba's history.  NDP Premier Selinger anticipated the fallout from hiking taxes during a media scrum following the budget speech, noting that "it was definitely a difficult decision, one we did not take lightly".

Official budget documents for the Manitoba 2013-2014 Budget may be found at

Information specific to programs and services for Manitobans with disabilities may be found at​.


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