April 12, 2022
Treaty 1 and Dakota Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg MB – While life gets more expensive for Northern families, 30% of nursing positions are vacant, and sections of the Thompson hospital are without hot water, Premier Stefanson’s first budget failed to deliver the solutions Northern families need.
“Northern families are looking for hope. With her first budget Premier Stefanson had the chance to deliver it but she failed to meet the moment,” said Wab Kinew, Leader of the Manitoba NDP. “Instead of setting herself apart from Brian Pallister, she repeated his mistakes by continuing to underfund health care and schools. Instead of making life more affordable, she’s raising hydro rates at the cabinet table and refusing to invest in Northern jobs. While the PCs continue to make life harder for Northern families, the NDP will fix health care and put families first.”
Premier Stefanson’s first budget continues Brian Pallister’s legacy of underfunding Northern health care and highways. After underspending their highway budget by $60 million in the last year, this year’s budget freezes the maintenance funds for Northern highways for the next three years. The budget does nothing to restore hot water at the Thompson hospital or bring back the Thompson foot care clinic – it's a de facto cut to Northern hospitals, ERs and frontline workers.
“We know this isn’t the budget Northern families wanted,” said Kinew. “But our team won’t give up on a better future. We’ll keep listening to Northern communities and putting forward solutions to fix health care and highways and put families first.”