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Manitoba finance minister says April 7 budget will focus on pandemic and recovery

Manitoba Finance Minister Scott Fielding speaks to media at a press conference before the provincial budget is read at the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg on March 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The Manitoba government plans to deliver its annual budget on April 7.

Finance Minister Scott Fielding says the fiscal plan will focus on protecting people during the COVID-19 pandemic and charting a recovery as the pandemic subsides.

Read more: Federal coronavirus money boosts Manitoba’s coffers; projected deficit shrinks to $2B

He says the budget will keep in mind that other COVID-19 waves could come or new variants might emerge.

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg’s 2021 budget prioritizes growth during the COVID-19 pandemic' Winnipeg’s 2021 budget prioritizes growth during the COVID-19 pandemic
Winnipeg’s 2021 budget prioritizes growth during the COVID-19 pandemic – Nov 27, 2020

Fielding also says the government will live up to its promise announced in the throne speech last fall to start phasing out the education tax on property.

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Read more: Winnipeg’s 2021 budget prioritizes growth during the COVID-19 pandemic

That tax currently costs Manitobans about $830 million a year.

The province is forecasting a $2-billion deficit for the current fiscal year, which ends in three weeks.

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