The 2012 budget will be presented on April 17 when the Manitoba legislature will resume sitting.
The budget will present a number of challenges. Over the past year we had to deal with the challenge with record flooding here in Manitoba. We responded with an unprecedented mobilization across the province. Although the final figures are not in yet the total cost of fighting the flood currently stands at $815 million.
We also faced uncertainty in the global economy. Our priority during the global downturn has been to protect jobs and the services families count on,
There is clear evidence that our plan is working. It has produced an unemployment rate that is among the lowest in Canada, with steady economic growth.
Budget 2012 will tackle the challenges ahead of us with a balanced approach and by putting the priorities of families first.
The budget will respond to the concerns expressed by Manitobans during provincewide budget consultations, including here in Thompson.
Finance Minister Stan Struthers has pointed out that the costs of last year’s flood were higher than most Manitobans imagined, as was the demand on family services and public safety. He has indicated that in lean times, families look for ways to reduce their expenses and through our budget process, we will too.
We have a strong foundation to build on today and we will continue to put the priorities of families first.