FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will invest $110.3 million in health infrastructure and $88.1 million in education as part of $757.9-million capital budget built on principles of economic growth and asset management. An investment of $12.6 million for tourism-related infrastructure was also announced.

“Our government listens,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “I had the pleasure of meeting with New Brunswickers during the pre-budget consultation period, and heard again just how important jobs, health care and education are to them. With today's capital budget we are staying true to New Brunswick’s priorities while also implementing our plan to restore balance to our finances.”

New investments total $98.5 million, and $659.4 million is earmarked for the continuation of previously announced projects. This level of investment will grow the economy by an estimated $560 million and help support upwards of 8,300 jobs.

Economic growth in the province reached a 10-year high in 2015. Given this result, and expectations among private sector forecasters for the next two years, the province’s economy is on track to more than triple the growth experienced between 2007 and 2014.

Rogers said these achievements are the result of hard work by New Brunswickers and the government’s economic growth plan.

“Our investments support our people, our businesses and sustainable economic growth long after our capital projects are completed. This is why today’s capital budget is so important,” said Rogers.

An investment of $110.3 million will be made in the health-care system to ensure patients get the care they expect and deserve. This includes continuing work on additions and renovations at the following hospitals:

  • Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre
  • Chaleur Regional Hospital
  • Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital

The government will invest $88.1 million in schools to give students a better chance to learn and be at their best. This includes projects at the following schools that are undergoing mid-life upgrades:

  • Fredericton High School
  • Harrison Trimble High School
  • Polyvalente W.-A. Losier
  • École Louis-J.-Robichaud

In addition, investments are being made in the following new schools:

  • an elementary school in West Saint John
  • an elementary school in Miramichi East
  • a Grade 3-8 school in Dieppe
  • a Grade 6-8 school in Moncton North
  • a replacement for École Arc-en-ciel in Oromocto
  • a kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Campbellton

The government will invest $447.0 million in roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure to create jobs and keep New Brunswickers safe. This includes the planning, design and construction of the following projects:

  • Route 108
  • Route 105, Two Nations Crossing
  • Fundy Trail Parkway Connector
  • radio communications system

As part of the Strategic Infrastructure Initiative, the government will invest $20.3 million in energy retrofits and renewable energy, a spending increase of more than 50 per cent compared to last year.

“As stewards of the public infrastructure that New Brunswickers use on a daily basis, we take our responsibilities seriously,” said Rogers. “We have developed a multi-year plan that recognizes not only today’s infrastructure priorities, but also considers tomorrow’s needs.”

The capital investment plan tabled today compares to the $696.3 million that was part of the three-year capital plan released last fall. By partnering with the federal government on infrastructure projects, the provincial contribution to capital investments increased by less than five per cent compared to the plan presented last year. This shows a plan that strikes a balance between strategic investments and fiscal responsibility, said Rogers.

The capital budget is available online.