March 25, 2019
New Brunswick Tables Balanced 2019 Budget
The 2019 New Brunswick Budget, released last week, projects a balanced budget with a $23 million surplus this year.
The budget includes a capital allocation of $600.6 million with a focus on maintaining existing infrastructure and reducing the province’s debt. This is a $265-million reduction from the previous government’s capital budget last year.
Other highlights include eliminating front licence plate requirements, increased financial aid to home support workers and reintroducing a bursary program for post-secondary students to address the labour shortage. In order to reach balance, slight spending reductions were made to various departments. The budget also does not contain any new tax increases.
The infrastructure-related budget items include:
- $321.1 million to maintain transportation assets around the province. In addition, upgrades are planned for airports in Saint John and Fredericton.
- $168.6 million to its highway program, $44 million to its bridge program (including $4.8 million for the ferry program), $52.6 million for the federal-provincial program, and $32.1 million for public works and infrastructure.
- Reduces the Municipal Designated Highway Program to $10 million from $25 million.
- Projects that will continue include: twinning Route 11 between Shediac River and Cocagne River, Centennial Bridge Miramichi, Petitcodiac River Bridge, Fundy Trail Connector, Coles Island bridges, Little Bouctouche River No. 1 Bridge, Florenceville Bridge, Anderson Bridge.
- Projects being re-evaluated include: Centennial building and Justice complex, New Brunswick Museum, Memramcook Institute Renovations, Perth-Andover roadway, Route 11 between Glenwood and Miramichi, Route 11 between Cocagne River and Little Bouctouche River.
- The government will also ask the federal government to allow for a change of scope of the twinning of Route 11 that will exclude the requirement to construct the remaining bridges and structures that are part of the project. This would allow for the continuation and completion of an affordable twinning to Bouctouche.
- The government will also seek further changes to the scope of work to continue to enhance Route 11 to Miramichi.
- $60.2 million in school infrastructure focusing on upgrades and new projects such as the anglophone Hanwell school and a new francophone school in Moncton.
- Projects that will be delayed include: Planning work on Bessborough School, Design phase of new school in Campbellton, Phase 2 of a renovation and addition project at Bath Community School, Mid-life upgrades to schools in Edmundston & Oromocto High School gym and the Phase 2 renovation for skilled trades at Petitcodiac Regional School.
- $4 million in capital improvements at community colleges across the province.
- $123.8 million in health-care infrastructure. Of this total, $91.8 million will be for the continuation of renovations, additions and other improvements around the province, and the remaining $32 million will be for capital improvements and equipment.
- The government will proceed with a maternal newborn unit at the Moncton Hospital, a surgical suite addition at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre, additions and renovations at the Chaleur and Dr. Everett Chalmers regional hospitals, and a provincial mental health treatment centre for youth in Campbellton.
Culture and Sport
- $12.9 million to help maintain provincial attractions and cultural infrastructure. The government will maintain financial support for construction of the Cyber Park building in Fredericton.
The full 2019 New Brunswick Budget can be accessed by clicking here https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/finance/budget/2019-2020/budget.html