FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has tabled a $1 billion capital budget, an increase of $152.3 million over the multi-year plan tabled last year. Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves said this reflects the needs associated with a growing population and the elevated costs of a high-inflation environment.

New Brunswick has entered a period of growth, and this represents a challenge and an opportunity to build on the progress we have made,” said Steeves. “This five-year capital plan addresses inflationary pressures, recognizes labour and materials shortages, and invests in areas where demand is on the rise.”

World-class education

The government will invest $110.2 million in the infrastructure of public schools, an increase of 41.9 per cent over the multi-year plan released last year. Steeves said this will help accommodate the influx of nearly 4,000 students at the province’s schools this year.

Vibrant and sustainable communities

An investment of $50 million will be made in the upcoming year for maintenance and improvements in nursing homes and to address housing challenges. This includes $33 million for affordable public housing, the first government-owned housing units to be built in 38 years.

Energizing the private sector

The government will invest $477.4 million for the maintenance and improvement of highways, roads and bridges, an increase of 17.9 per cent over the multi-year capital plan.

The $562.8 million budget for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is a $73.5 million increase over last year’s multi-year capital plan and is largely a reflection of rising global commodity prices.

Dependable public health care

The government will invest $176.6 million in health-care infrastructure. Of this, $95 million will be for the continuation of renovations, additions and related improvements; $81.6 million will be for other improvements and equipment.

Affordable and responsive government

“We have consistently said we would make decisions that are responsible and fiscally sustainable,” said Steeves. “Today’s capital budget remains true to the approach that has worked so well since we have taken office.”

The capital budget is available online.