Monday, February 12th 5:30 p.m. - The Manitoba government has announced, in light of the events in the Carman area Sunday, it is postponing tonight's previously scheduled budget consultation town hall at Winkler Arts Culture.
In recognition of the tragic loss of life in Carman over the weekend, tonight’s budget townhall in Winkler has been postponed. For other opportunities to provide input on the next provincial budget, please visit https://t.co/cSDpcfKsgC.— Manitoba Government (@MBGov) February 12, 2024
Our provincial NDP government is trying to get a sense of what's important to Manitobans through budget consultations around the province.
Minister of Finance, Adrien Sala says they are a listening government, and they want to ensure all Manitobans have an opportunity to provide their insights and feedback.
Sala said the more people they can hear from - from various regions of the province, the more they can ensure the budget they build, is one that reflects the priorities of Manitobans.
Healthcare is the biggest priority for folks, whether it's wait times for tests and surgeries or their inability to find a family doctor, said Sala. "We've heard a lot of people express concern over the state of the province's healthcare system and we've already begun to build capacity within the system. And I'm telling folks to watch for our budget which will be certain to make a lot of investments into that healthcare system." And I know people are wanting that and are expecting that from our new government.
With some town halls already complete around the province, Sala said they're getting ready to visit Winkler on Monday, and will be heading to northern Manitoba as well for an in-person consultation there.
So far, telephone town halls have been conducted in the City of Winnipeg and Northern Manitoba. An in-person event was held last week in Brandon, to hear from people there and in the surrounding Westman region.
"Well, we know that healthcare is, of course, the top priority," said Sala. "But affordability is another key issue and people are looking for us to help them with the rising cost of living they've been challenged with. We've already suspended the gas tax for six months, which we're proud to have done, and that's brought a lot of relief to the high energy prices that Manitobans have been facing. And so we've started right out of the gate with that release, and certainly looking to ensure that we continue to work on improving affordability for Manitobans."
To register for the townhall in Winkler, or any other upcoming NDP budget consultations, go to engagemb.ca
~ With files from Candace Derksen ~