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Finance Minister Ernie Steeves unveils the 2023-24 capital budget in the legislature on Dec. 6, 2022. Image: Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick video capture

N.B. Unveils $1B Capital Budget

By Brad Perry Dec 6, 2022 | 7:59 PM

New Brunswick plans to spend just over $1 billion on capital projects in the 2023-24 fiscal year.

That is $152 million more than the province projected in its multi-year plan tabled last year.

“Much of this increase is a result of the elevated inflationary environment and supply chain-related delays seen around the globe,” Finance Minister Ernie Steeves said when unveiling the capital budget on Tuesday.

“Today’s capital budget reflects not only what we can afford, but also what we need, and have the capacity to deliver.”

Steeves said $110 million has been earmarked for public schools in the upcoming fiscal year.

More than $64 million of that is to continue the planning, design and construction of eight new schools, including in Saint John and Shediac Cape.

The investment comes as schools have seen an influx of nearly 4,000 students this school year, according to Steeves.

“This growth means that we have gone from declining enrolments and school closures to a period where our schools are full, and the need is there to build new capacity,” he said.

The remaining $46 million will be used for improvements, ventilation upgrades, and equipment in schools.

Also included in next year’s capital budget is $33 million to build new public housing units, which the province had already committed to.

In October, the province said it will spend $100 million over the next four years to build 380 new units.

Steeves said an additional $176 million has been earmarked for health-care infrastructure, including $95 million to continue ongoing projects.

This includes renovating and adding new space at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton and the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst.

Work will also continue at the Saint John Regional Hospital in response to growing clinical demand within the medical and surgical intensive care unit, oncology clinics, and the cardiac unit.

At the Moncton Hospital, work will continue on the new maternal newborn unit, and on modernizing and increasing capacity in the coronary care unit.

Space at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton will also be renovated to create a new provincial public health lab.

“Creating capacity at our hospitals in support of our action plan is an important step in easing the strain in our health care system,” said Steeves.

The budget also sets aside $477 million for highways, roads and bridges around the province, which include ongoing projects on Saint John’s Harbour Bridge, and the Coles Island Bridges near Sussex.


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