The Liberal government's latest budget falls short on giving the Canadian economy what it needs to find its footing again after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister.

“[There’s] very little attention paid to how we pay for all this stuff,” Pallister said in a broadcast interview Thursday. 

“[There's] lots of pre-election gift-bag items, but no attention really to how we regenerate our economy effectively.”

Pallister explained that structural changes are more crucial to the country’s economic engine. Measures like eliminating interprovincial trade barriers, reducing red tape that costs businesses jobs and money as well as addressing supply side issues were all missing from the budget, he said.

“Talking about stimulating the economy when we’ve got a record amount of savings just waiting to be spent doesn’t make sense to me,” he said. 

“What makes sense to me is changing the structural approach that we have that has resulted over the last number of years in reduced productivity versus our competitors.”

Another challenge Pallister sees comes from the healthcare concerns premiers across the country are facing during the pandemic.

“Our major social challenge as premier is, of course, healthcare,” Pallister said. “The costs are growing significantly faster than virtually anything else and [there’s] no mention of restoring a real partnership and support a funding partnership with Ottawa in the budget.”