Manitoba’s budget presented on Wednesday focuses on rent freezes, changes to taxes, and has a strong emphasis on supporting the province’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding released Budget 2021, saying “we will grow our way out of deficit and back into balance by investing in more jobs, tax relief and economic growth.”

The province projects a deficit of $1.597 billion for 2021-22, an improvement from the third quarter projection for 2020-21 of $2.08 billion.

The first priority laid out in Budget 2021 is to protect Manitobans through the ongoing pandemic. 

It includes $1.18 billion in 2021-22 for COVID-19 costs including personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccine deployment, education supports and future needs.

Health-care funding increases by $156 million to the highest level in Manitoba history, $6.98 billion

The province says it will continue to address poverty in Manitoba by ensuring safe and affordable housing and strengthening social services, supported by a nearly $34-million increase to the Department of Families.

Click here to see more details on Budget 2021.