Quarterly report says Manitoba’s financial outlook is improving

WINNIPEG –

Manitoba is reporting a slight improvement to its projected deficit.

A first quarter financial report for 2021/2022 shows a forecasted shortfall of $1.56 billion.

That’s a $34 million decrease from the budget forecast from April.

The report says this includes additional COVID-19-related federal transfers for health care and the immunization program.

The province has earmarked $1.18 billion in pandemic-related expenses including PPE, support programs, and $462 million of contingency funds.

It also says the drought is impacting Manitoba Hydro’s bottom line, forecast at $188 million under budget.

Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Casino is projected to be $29 million under because of casino and gaming operation closures.

MPI is forecasted to be $16 million in the black because of higher than expected vehicle registrations and premiums.

Looking ahead, the report says economic predictions are more optimistic compared to April as public health restrictions have loosened. However, it cautions there is still risk because of rising COVID-19 case numbers outside Manitoba and the variants here.

“The outlook remains volatile, in particular due to the fourth wave of COVID-19 and variants of concern, like the Delta variant,” the report reads. 

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