Coinciding with the return of warmer weather, MLA’s will also be returning for the third session of Manitoba’s 42nd legislature today. Similar to the fall, no more than 17 of the 57 MLA’s will be in the chamber at any one time and the rest will be joining virtually due to COVID-19.
There is a lot on their plate as the government introduced over 60 bills last fall and one of the first orders of business for this session is more money to fight COVID-19. It is expected that Finance Minister Scott Fielding will introduce the Supplementary Appropriation Act (2020-2021) today that will give the province the ability to invest an additional $450 million with most of that going to fight the pandemic.
No date has been set but Minister Fielding will also be introducing his third budget later this session. Like all jurisdictions, COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow to the province’s finances. The 2019-2020 public accounts showed Manitoba with balanced books coming into the pandemic. However, the most recent estimates show that the province’s deficit could top $2 billion this fiscal year which would be a record high. In the Throne Speech last fall the government committed to returning to balance over two terms and the forthcoming budget is expected to lay out the first steps of how they plan to get there.
The legislature is scheduled to sit until June 1st.
News Release – Third Session of the 42nd Manitoba Legislature Reconvenes Today
News Release – Province seeks spending authority for additional $450 Million to help protect Manitobans
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