January 22, 2021 – Online, Telephone Feedback will Help Shape Provincial Priorities to Protect Manitobans: Fielding
The provincial government is inviting Manitobans to participate in virtual and telephone engagement sessions and an online survey to help shape Budget 2021, Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced today.
“As we prepare our upcoming budget, our government’s priority is to protect and support all Manitobans through the unprecedented fiscal and economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Fielding. “Our annual budget process relies on Manitobans to provide valuable input on important issues. With the pandemic restricting the ways we gather, this year we’re inviting all Manitobans to share suggestions in a safe way as we launch our first-ever virtual engagement process.”
Due to COVID-19 public health orders that restrict gathering sizes, Fielding will host four telephone town halls and four virtual engagement sessions in late January and early February, and invites Manitobans to submit online and written feedback.
Telephone town halls:
• Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. for Winnipeg-area residents;
• Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. for northern Manitobans;
• Monday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. for Winnipeg-area residents; and
• Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. for rural Manitobans.
• Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m. for rural Manitobans;
• Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. English-French bilingual session;
• Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. for northern Manitobans; and
• Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. for Winnipeg-area residents.
The Manitoba government has also launched an online budget survey through EngageMB and invites Manitobans to complete the survey and register for the virtual public engagement meetings and telephone town halls at https://engagemb.ca/budget-2021.
Manitobans can also email comments and ideas to email@example.com or mail written submissions to:
Minister of Finance c/o Budget Consultations
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
“Budget 2021 will focus on protecting health care, jobs, incomes, education and child care for Manitobans, as we look for ways to protect our province’s future,” said Fielding. “We invite Manitobans to help prioritize our investments in areas such as health care and our COVID-19 response, jobs and the economy, mental health and addictions, and investments in our schools.”
The province’s mid-year financial report and economic outlook released in December 2020 projected a revised deficit of $2.048 billion for the current 2020-21 fiscal year, which would be the highest deficit in Manitoba history.
To date, Manitoba has committed $3.2 billion in response to the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic, which is the third-highest level of estimated per capita and as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) support in the country.
Fielding noted the province remains focused on its pandemic response and has yet to set a date to release Budget 2021 as it awaits information from the federal government in regards to its budget date and final transfer amounts to provinces.
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