The Honourable Rosann Wowchuk

The Honourable Rosann Wowchuk

Province Releases Third Quarter Financial Report 

Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk today announced the 2010 provincial budget will be introduced March 23, when the fourth session of the 39th Manitoba legislature resumes. 

“Following numerous pre-budget public meetings and consultations with business and community leaders we are working towards moving forward with a budget that is steady, focused and reliable for Manitobans during a time of global economic recovery,” said Wowchuk. “Manitobans can count on our government to continue investments in vital government services including health care, education, public safety and economic stimulus.” 

The minister today also released the third quarter financial report, noting the province is projecting a shortfall of $555 million for the 2009-10 fiscal year, compared to $592 million forecast in the second quarter report released in December. 

The 2009-10 summary shortfall results from pressures facing the government including: 

·         a decline in revenues since Budget 2009, primarily due to reduced corporate income taxes and lower federal revenue because of the timing of infrastructure projects and a reduction in Manitoba Hydro profits by $136 million; 

·         unexpected costs of $90 million related to planning and mitigation for the H1N1 flu, which will be excluded from the balanced budget calculation, and costs for the 2009 spring flood which together total $146 million; and 

·         a continuing commitment to maintain services important to Manitobans including health care, child protection, services for people with disabilities, income assistance and justice, as reflected in a recently approved $304-million special warrant.  

“We are working to manage spending during these difficult economic times,” said Wowchuk. “We’re also taking this time to urge restraint while we look to rebound from this economic downturn.”    

The third quarter financial report includes key indicators showing Manitoba’s economy is outperforming the Canadian average.

 The report projects a positive summary balance of $253 million based on the four-year average of net results prescribed under the Balanced Budget, Fiscal Management and Taxpayer Accountability Act. 

The third quarter financial report will be available at www.gov.mb.ca/finance/index.html.