Province approves $710M in emergency funds for health-care staffing challenges

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To ensure the province can respond to staffing challenges in the health-care system, the Manitoba government approved a $710-million special warrant, Finance Minister Adrien Sala announced today.

“This special warrant was needed due to the failure of the previous government to account for collective bargaining agreements in Manitoba’s health system,” said Sala. “Our government inherited the budgetary failures of the previous government and this warrant is needed as we deal with a $1.6-billion deficit. We are committed to balancing the priorities of Manitobans while being responsible with the province’s finances.”

A special warrant is required when spending for public services has not been accounted for but is required for the public good, noted the minister.

Sala noted the amount was determined due to staffing initiatives not included in the government’s contingency fund and unbudgeted collective agreements that led to an extra $700 million needed in the Department of Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care for cash flow requirements.