WINNIPEG – What’s expected to be a radically different budget than what Manitobans have become accustomed to will be unveiled April 11.
After nearly two decades of NDP rule, the new PC party is promising a plan full of cost-control measures, sure to include ways to cut down on public sector spending.
“We’re talking about a trajectory change. This involves significant change within government. The fiscal challenge we’ve described early on is very real, is very significant,” says finance minister Cameron Friesen. “We must make strides, we must address it. There is no ‘steady as she goes’ opportunity here for government. This is about tough decisions, showing progress, keeping the lights on.”
Friesen is being helped by an advisory panel chaired by Janice MacKinnon, former finance minister of Saskatchewan, and Dave Angus, former president and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
“Start to reduce the spending, get it back into line with revenue over a period of time, and you can do that without huge amounts of pain if you act quickly,” explains MacKinnon. “If you leave it, then you would have some really serious problems.”
The NDP has accused the government of not being transparent about possible cuts to health-care services across the province.