QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released seven budget priorities that he is calling on the Government to act upon:
1. COVID-19: Invest urgent resources to improve COVID-19 contact tracing, testing, and lab capacity and implement integrated databases across all public health units.
2. Long-Term Care: Guarantee dignified minimum standards of care for elders with $1.8 billion to hire more nurses and health workers and equalize wages.
3. Education: Reduce class sizes to 15 students per class and create a province-wide school lunch program for students.
4. Housing: Create immediate supportive housing solutions for the homeless and people living in tents to protect them from the pandemic this winter.
5. Mental health: Immediately inject $500 million into mental health services and commit to a four-year, $4 billion plan. Cut the wait time for youth mental health services to 30 days.
6. Small business: Restore the commercial eviction ban and offer $15,000 grants to small businesses in COVID-19 hotspots.
7. Climate: Launch a five-year, $5-billion green building program to save energy and create jobs by retrofitting homes and buildings.