FREDERICTION (CNB) – The provincial government is scaling back capital spending for 2011-12 as it continues to take steps to address the fiscal challenge. The 2011-12 capital budget of $592.9 million relates almost entirely to projects already underway and for the maintenance of existing infrastructure. Just seven per cent of total capital investments is to commence new projects.

“Our government is committed to returning to fiscal balance, while making strategic investments in priority areas,” said Finance Minister Blaine Higgs. “The capital estimates presented here today reflect these realities.”

Higgs said the return to fiscal balance would not compromise the necessary maintenance of schools, hospitals, roads and bridges or strategic investments in priority areas.

"Capital spending has been a contributor to the fiscal challenges we face," said Finance Minister Blaine Higgs. "Over the last two years, governments everywhere increased their spending to minimize the depths of the recession and stimulate economic activity. Here in New Brunswick, the last two years of record capital spending greatly increased our provincial debt. We cannot continue on this path."

Highlights of the 2011-12 capital budget include:

●    $98.3 million for the K-12 education system;
●    $19.4 million for the community college network and $7.5 million for universities;
●    $56.9 million for health-care infrastructure;
●    $313.2 million for transportation infrastructure such as roads, bridges and ferries; and
●    $53.6 million for ongoing projects in the justice and corrections system.

"This capital budget is about managing responsibly while building and maintaining much-needed infrastructure in New Brunswick," said Higgs. “By prioritizing our investments and tabling a fiscally responsible capital budget, we are headed in the right direction.”

The 2011-12 capital budget can be found online.

2011-12 capital budget highlights

Total capital budget

$592.9 million gross capital budget including:
●    $300.2 million for ongoing projects;
●    $251.2 million for maintenance of existing infrastructure; and
●    $41.5 million for new projects.

K-12 Education

$98.3 million as follows:
●    $30 million to maintain and improve schools;
●    $55.9 million to continue with projects already underway; and
●    $12.4 million to commence a select number of new projects.

Post-secondary education

Community college network:
●    $19.4 million to complete major projects underway and continue routine maintenance.

●    $7.5 million for deferred maintenance projects.


$56.9 million as follows:
●    $37.5 million for ongoing projects;
●    $14.4 million for maintenance and equipment; and
●    $5 million for new projects.


$313.2 million as follows:
●    $104.1 million for ongoing projects;
●    $191.6 million for maintenance of existing infrastructure and equipment; and
●    $17.5 million for the rehabilitation of the Saint John Harbour Bridge.

Public Safety

●    $32 million for the ongoing construction of the Saint John Law Courts; and
●    $21.6 million to complete the Dalhousie Regional Correctional Centre and the Southeast Regional Correctional Centre.


●    $44 million for various other public infrastructure projects.


●    Department of Finance: