Not everyone pleased with Manitoba budget

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WINNIPEG, Man. — While Manitoba’s Doer government has been tooting its horn over a $600 million highways plan, critics have been quick to point out it’s just a drop in the bucket.

Monday’s provincial budget contained a five-year, $600 million road improvement plan which the government said will bring spending on highways to record levels.

But Chris Lorenc, president of Manitoba Heavy Construction, says $600 million is simply not enough, considering the state of the province’s highways. He estimates it will cost $2.8 billion over the next 20 years to adequately fix the highways.

Meanwhile, vehicle registration costs also jumped, following the release of Monday’s budget.

“Once again, we find ourselves in the very unfortunate position of paying the highest fees west of Quebec,” Tory leader Stuart Murray pointed out yesterday.

Meanwhile, Manitoba’s Transportation Minister, Steve Ashton, defended the move, saying higher registration costs on vehicles allow the province to freeze fuel taxes at 11.5 cents per litre.

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