Manitoba budget will include money to fight COVID-19 pandemic: finance minister

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WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is promising more money to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding says the provincial budget scheduled for Wednesday will include $1.2 billion for items including protective equipment, more testing and supports for schools.

Fielding says $100 million of the total will go toward the province's vaccination program, which has been hit by some setbacks in recent weeks.

Health Minister Heather Stefanson says the province has faced challenges, including some glitches in staffing, but is preparing to administer up to 20,000 doses a day.

Fielding says $300 million will be set aside as contingency money for unexpected pandemic issues that may arise.

Fielding has already said the budget will have a deficit of $1.6 billion, down from $2 billion in the last fiscal year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2021.

The Canadian Press