Manitoba gives federal budget failing grade
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger says the latest federal budget fails to give the provinces more funding for things like health and education.
The budget, tabled by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Thursday, cuts $5.2 billion in spending over the next three years.
CBC News asked a number of Manitobans to weigh in on the federal budget after it was tabled on Thursday afternoon. Here's what they said.
The cuts are at the low end of the $4 billion to $8 billion range that Flaherty had prepared Canadians to expect, but the budget did not spare Old Age Security, civil service and MP pensions from planned changes.
Speaking to reporters in Winnipeg, Selinger said he had hoped to see more money for the provinces in terms of education, health care and First Nations.
But the premier said federal funding to the provinces will not be increased, so they will have to pick up some of the slack.
"Manitoba's getting a zero and other provinces are getting a zero, so we're concerned that this budget is not sufficiently protecting health care and education," he said.
Selinger said he also does not agree with the budget's plan to change the eligibility age for Old Age Security from 65 to 67 starting in April 2023.
"We think that being able to retire with dignity at 65 is very important for anybody, regardless of what generation they're in," the premier said.
"And we think it's affordable, given the system that we have in Canada."
Manitoba Finance Minister Stan Struthers said he was expecting a federal commitment to help with costs associated with the 2011 provincial flood — but the promised $400-million wasn't there.
Struthers said there is money for permanent flood mitigation, but the flood cost almost $1-billion. "The budget is silent on this. And they have said to us that, "Oh, we'll be with you on that." But it's almost a year now since that flood hit us and we have yet to see the federal government come through with its obligations."