It was my pleasure to attend the 16th Youth Build graduation ceremony for the Thompson Boys & Girls Club last week, to share in celebrations with the graduates along with their families and friends. I’m particularly proud of the investments our provincial government is making in the Youth Build program in Thompson, because it helps northern youth succeed. Congratulations to Dana Braun-Colombe, Timothy Dumas, Matilda “Tilly” Dysart, Seth Penner and Sonya Wood for their hard work, dedication and completion of the 48-week course, and best wishes to them as they pursue future milestones and adventures.
Separately, thanks to teacher Anne Lindsay and the grades 9 and 10 R.D. Parker Collegiate students in her lifestyles class for inviting me to speak about career experiences, and to answer questions about achieving goals. The students were polite, attentive and enthusiastic. It’s always a joy to see inquisitive young people eager to pursue career interests.
In order to ensure a stronger and sustainable economic future for these students and other youth in Manitoba, our government is fixing the province’s finances, restoring services and rebuilding the economy. Our latest financial report for the 2018-19 fiscal year shows continued progress toward balanced budgets while increasing our investments in health care, education and family services to record levels. A summary deficit of $470 million for 2018-19 is projected, for an improvement of $225 million over the 2017-18 deficit of $695 million. At the same time in health care in Manitoba, emergency wait times are down and the number of physicians in our province has grown by 150 during the past two years.
In addition, our government has announced we will not charge PST on the federal carbon tax. The federal Liberal government has decided to charge GST on top of its imposed carbon tax, which means less money on Manitobans’ kitchen tables. As well, Manitoba’s NDP and Liberal leaders support the federal carbon tax, which amounts to a tax on home heating, travel and transportation. While our government works to fix Manitoba’s finances, it’s disappointing to see the NDP and Liberals support new taxes.