COVID-19: Alberta economic support programs

Current as of November 9, 2020.

09 November 2020

Manitoba economic support programs



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Manitoba declared a State of Emergency on March 20, 2020 under the Emergency Measures Act. It was further extended on April 20, May 17, June 15, July 14, August 12, September 10, October 9 and November 6.

Conservation and Climate Fund

DESCRIPTION

On July 9, 2020 the Government of Manitoba announced that it will provide up to $600,000 during the fiscal year to organizations for local green initiatives. Grants will be available for projects that support current priorities and fit in one or more of the following categories:

  • climate and green technology,
  • water, and
  • nature and resilient landscapes.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Eligible applicants include:

  • incorporated non-profit organizations,
  • academic and educational institutions,
  • Manitoba municipalities,
  • Northern Affairs and Indigenous communities in Manitoba, and
  • businesses.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release here.

Ban on Commercial Evictions

DESCRIPTION

On June 26, 2020, the Government of Manitoba introduced a temporary ban on commercial evictions as part of an effort to drive increased participation in the federal-provincial cost-shared Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.

ACCESS & ELIGIBILITY

Applies to all commercial tenants.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release here.

Manitoba Back to Work this Summer

DESCRIPTION

On September 14, 202, the Government of Manitoba again extended the Back to Work Wage Subsidy Program.

On September 1, 2020, the Province announced an $8 million investment through the Manitoba Restart Program to support safer detention centres.

On August 26, 2020 the Manitoba Government announced it was enhancing the Back to Work program by doubling the amount of subsidized employees to 20, and increasing the maximum level of financial support available to employers from $50,000 to $100,000.

On July 15, 2020, the program was expanded to reimburse up to $5,000 for up to 10 new workers to a maximum of $50,000 per business, not for profit or charity.
On June 18, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced the launch of the "Manitoba Back to Work this Summer" program. Employers can apply to receive funding for up to five employees hired or rehired after June 18. The program will reimburse 50 per cent of the total wages paid from June 18 until Aug. 30, to a maximum of $5,000 per worker and $25,000 per business.

A total of $120 million is available for this initiative and the Summer Student Recovery Program.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The province extended the program by two months until Dec. 31 and announced employers are now able to rehire students previously hired through the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program, Canada Summer Job Program and Green Team Program. The province confirmed new start-up companies are eligible, providing they have a business number.

The Manitoba government is providing law enforcement agencies in Brandon and Winnipeg with more than $8 million through the Manitoba Restart Program to support the construction of new or enhancement of existing police detention facilities. The support includes $4.4 million for the Brandon Police Service to create a new permanent detention facility as part of its headquarters and $3.5 million for the Winnipeg Police Service to facilitate updates to its Central Processing Unit.

• Return to work at least 30 hours per week in order to be eligible for the first $500 payment;
Complete a simple declaration for each of the following two week periods to receive the next three $500 payments;
• No longer receive CERB, CESB or similar COVID-19 related support from the federal government;
• Follow Manitoba's COVID-19 health guidelines in the workplace; and

• Continue residing permanently in Manitoba and be legally entitled to work in Canada.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 14, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 1, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated August 26, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated July 15, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's new release dated June 18, 2020 here.

Summer Student Recovery Plan

DESCRIPTION

On June 15, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced that it was increasing access and eligibility to the Summer Student Recovery Plan which was originally announced on April 24, 2020.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Qualifying threshold increased to a total pre-tax employment income of less than $5,000 per month, or $12,500 total during the 2.5-month eligibility period, and excludes overtime from the total gross income calculation.

The program has also been expanded to include hotel workers and Business Improvement Zone staff.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release here.

Tax Payment Filing Extension

DESCRIPTION

On March 22, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced that the tax filing deadlines for business impacted by COVID-19 would be extended by two months.

Businesses will have up to two additional months to remit retail sales taxes and payroll taxes.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Small and medium-sized businesses with monthly remittances of no more than $10,000.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release here.

Temporary Exception To Employment Standards Layoff Rules

DESCRIPTION

On March 27, 2020, the Finance Minister announced that it is adding a temporary exception to the employment standards regulations in order to provide flexibility to employers to recall employees once work picks up again.

Any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination, requiring employers to provide pay in lieu of notice.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release here.

Postponement of Eviction Hearings

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba Residential Tenancies Branch (RTB) and Residential Tenancies Commission (RTC) will postpone hearings for non-urgent matters to halt evictions. All scheduled RTB and RTC hearings will be delayed, with certain exceptions to deal with urgent issues that involve the health and safety of tenants.

The measures to suspend non-urgent eviction hearings will be in place until May 31, 2020. This timeline will be monitored by the province to determine if additional adjustments are required.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Tenants may continue to reach out to the RTB to resolve urgent situations regarding involving the health and safety of landlords and tenants. This could include landlords illegally shutting off utilities, locking tenants out of a rental unit, or situations where a tenant is conducting illegal activities from their rental unit.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated march 24, 2020 here.

Freezes on Rent Increases

DESCRIPTION

The province has suspended any rent increases scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2020 or later and is postponing all non-urgent eviction hearings.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated march 24, 2020 here.

Childcare for Essential Workers

DESCRIPTION

The province is investing $27.6 million to help provide child care to essential front-line workers who are supporting the province's COVID-19 response. The funding will be distributed in a number of ways:

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Eligible early childhood educators can apply to receive a grant of up to $3,000 to provide care to children at their homes or at other appropriate spaces.

The grants can be used to purchase supplies for meeting health and safety requirements, such as a fire extinguisher or first aid kits, or to undertake minor upgrades to physical spaces or to provide quality learning and care items such as high chairs, mats or books.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated March 20, 2020 here and the application page here

Suspended student loan repayment

DESCRIPTION

The province is suspending repayment of Manitoba Student Aid loans for six months. Manitoba Student Loans remain interest free.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.

During the deferral period, the program will accept payments from borrowers who choose to continue repaying loans.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated April 7, 2020 here

Paid administrative leave for Healthcare staff

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba government will now compensate health-care workers who are required to self-isolate for 14 days due to possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The Manitoba government will provide health-care staff paid administrative leave for the full 14-day period of asymptomatic self-isolation. Should a worker become symptomatic during self-isolation, the individual will be compensated by sick leave benefits, pursuant to their collective agreement

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated April 14, 2020 here

Workers Compensation Board Surplus Return and additional supports

DESCRIPTION

On April 21, 2020, the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba announced that it is returning a $37-million surplus to eligible employers in the province to provide financial relief

The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba will also defer premium payments until the end of May, not charge business interest and/or penalties for non-payment until October, extend the payroll-reporting deadline until the end of May and ensure that coverage remains active for accounts that choose to defer payments until the end of October.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

In May, eligible employers will receive a credit to their account based on 20 per cent of their 2019 premium. To be eligible to receive the surplus, employers must have fulfilled their payroll reporting responsibilities for 2019 and paid a WCB premium in 2019. Employers can still report their 2019 payroll to receive the surplus distribution.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated April 21, 2020 here

Support for small and medium sized business

DESCRIPTION

On April 22, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced it will provide up to $120 million to support Manitoba's small and medium-sized businesses that are facing significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) the province will advance each eligible business a non-interest bearing forgivable loan of $6,000. The loan will be forgiven on Dec. 31, 2020, if the recipient attests at that time the business has not received any major non-repayable COVID-19 federal supports such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Business Account, as well as sector-specific grant federal programs specifically developed in response to the pandemic. If the applicant has received benefits under a federal COVID program, then the loan will be added to the recipient's 2020 tax bill.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the MGPP funding, a business must:

  • have been operational on March 20, 2020, the date the Manitoba government declared a province wide state of emergency;
  • have temporarily ceased/curtailed operations as a result of a COVID-19 public health order and have been harmed by the health order;
  • be registered and in good standing with the Manitoba Business and Corporate Registry;
  • have not qualified for federal government COVID-19 grant support; and
have an email address and a bank account.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated April 22, 2020 here

Manitoba Public Insurance Rebates

DESCRIPTION

On April 23, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced that Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is returning up to $110 million to provide financial relief to its policyholders.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Rebates cheques will be provided at the end of May to early June and will be based on what policyholders paid last year and expected to be around 11 per cent, or between $140 to $160, per average policyholder.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated April 23, 2020 here

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to be treated as income for Employment and Income Assistance (EIA)

DESCRIPTION

Manitoba extends supports as part of pandemic response.

On April 24, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced it that the federal CERB benefit will be treated as earned income under EIA. As a result, EIA clients who receive the CERB benefit will receive more than they would on EIA alone.

Families will also be able to keep the increased Canada Child Benefit and GST rebate without any impact to their EIA benefits

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The federal government's new Canada Recovery Benefit, Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit will be treated as earned income under EIA for existing clients and for anyone who may apply for benefits in the disability category. Clients will also continue to receive EIA health benefits, including prescription, dental and optical, under the Rewarding Work Health Plan. Individuals with disabilities will receive the same enhanced earnings exemption as existing clients. This change will make it easier for people with disabilities whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 to receive EIA benefits in addition to the new federal benefits.

The province will work with clients to help them navigate the federal process and explain how it will affect their EIA benefits. This will include helping them resume receiving support from EIA once the CERB benefits end.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 9, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated April 24, 2020 here

Summer Student Recovery Plan

DESCRIPTION

On April 24, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced the Summer Student Recovery Plan to provide wage subsidies to support high school and post-secondary students employed in the private and non-profit sectors.

Up to $120 million is available for employers to access a $7 per hour wage subsidy, up to a maximum of $5,000 per student.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The program is open to Manitoba students aged 15 to 29, with an employment period from May 1 to September 4.

Employers can be subsidized to hire up to five students. Reimbursement will be provided at the end of the employment period, upon proof of payment of student wages.

Employers must place students in jobs that can be accommodated under current public health orders and be able to adapt to recommendations provided by public health officials over the summer.

For the first two weeks of the program, priority will be given to employers who do not qualify for the various federal government assistance programs.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated April 24, 2020 here

Seniors Economic Recovery Credit

DESCRIPTION

On May 5, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced that it will provide $45 million in direct financial support to Manitoba seniors through the Seniors Economic Recovery Credit (SERC).

The SERC will provide every Manitoban aged 65 and older with a one-time, refundable tax credit of $200.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The Manitoba Department of Finance will proactively mail a cheque for the SERC as a credit advance to each senior who filed a 2018 income tax return prior to April 1, 2020.

The Province of Manitoba expects that almost all seniors will receive the SERC in May. The $200 credit will not be counted taxable as income and will not be used in assessing income-tested benefits to seniors.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's new release dated May 5, 2020.

Relief for vehicle registration

DESCRIPTION

On May 12, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced a $11-million program beginning July 1 that will reduce vehicle registration fees by 10%.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Most Manitobans will benefit from a $15 decrease to the existing $154 vehicle registration fee

The registration fee applies to non-commercial vehicles and trucks, resulting in an annual registration fee of $139. Non-commercial vehicles include passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, light trucks, farm vehicles, motorcycles/mopeds and personal-use trailers and trucks.

The existing fee for the registration of government and municipal vehicles will continue.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated May 12, 2020.

Building Sustainable Communities Program

DESCRIPTION

On May 20, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced it will provide $10 million in grants through the Building Sustainable Communities Program.

The Building Sustainable Communities program will provide grants to non-profit and charitable organizations, municipalities, and Northern Affairs community councils to finance their community development projects.

The maximum contribution from the government is up to 50% of total eligible project costs to a maximum grant of $75,000.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To receive funding, organizations must comply with physical distancing requirements and practices for the pandemic as directed by the chief provincial public health officer. Organizations that cannot comply with public health orders will be invited to resubmit alternative project proposals that support community development activities.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated May 20, 2020 here

Increased Investment in the 2020-2021 Canada-Manitoba Job Grants Program

DESCRIPTION

On June 3, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced it will provide $5.7 million to the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant program to better assist businesses with staff training costs as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, a $2 million dollar increase from the previous year.

The program allows employers to apply for up to $10,000 for each of their employees, to a maximum grant of $100,000. Eligible costs include tuition fees, textbooks, software and other required materials, exam fees, and travel costs for the training of individuals in northern and remote communities.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Applications are now available for Canada-Manitoba Job Grants for 2020-21. The application deadline is July 3.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated June 3, 2020 here.

Relief for small liquor producers

DESCRIPTION

On June 5, 2020 the Government of Manitoba announced that it will be reducing and streamlining markup rates and extending the zero-markup for public sales to include outdoor markets.

The Government is adding new micro-producer discounted markups that support craft producers of wine, mead and cider and reducing markups for craft distillers, mirroring what currently exists for the local craft brewing segment of the market.

Additional the exempted markups for the sale of liquor made and sold on-premises by local producers will be extended to producers selling at outdoor markets and other temporary locations

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Changes are expected to take effect July 1.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated June 5, 2020 here.

Safe Schools Fund

DESCRIPTION

On September 21, 2020 the Province of Manitoba began distribution of millions of dollars for safe schools to support staff and students.

The Manitoba Government has prepared a number of informational materials for students, parents and teachers as they prepare for a safe and informed return to the classroom.

On August 24, 2020 the Government of Manitoba announced the creation of a "Safe Schools fund".  It will provide $100 million in funds that will be used to support schools, teachers, and students by providing non-medical and medical masks and PPE, enhancing cleaning and sanitization, including more staffing, increasing bus transportation capacity, including additional bus drivers and routes, and ensuring substitute teachers and educational staff are available to keep schools open and children learning.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The minister said of the $52 million made available, $12 million is estimated for masks and personal protective equipment, $32 million for school divisions and independent schools to access up to a per-pupil maximum, and $8 million to address serious and urgent health and safety measures over and above the school division allocation. All school division will be able to access the supports.

The province has prepared information with a focus on the fundamentals of learning and working around COVID-19 including: Parent Guide, Mask Use Guide, Easy Reference for Parents to the Pandemic Response Notification System, COVID-19 Screening Questions and COVID-19 in Schools and Early Learning and Child Care Centres. The materials are available here.

All school divisions will be able to access the Safe Schools funding, which consists of $48 million in preparedness savings already set aside for this purpose, plus an additional $52 million.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 21, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 2, 2020.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated August 24, 2020 here.

Support for Quality Early Learning and Child Care

DESCRIPTION

On August 24, 2020 the Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba announced additional support for early learning and child care through the one-year Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.  The agreement allocates over $15 million in 2020–21 for early learning and child care investments in Manitoba.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The province will continue to invest in creating inclusive child care spaces, maintain its free online Science of Early Development living textbook, expand its core professional development program and mentorship program for at-home providers, and create a one-time, $1.5 million COVID-19 Response Grant for facilities that have re-opened during the pandemic.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated August 24, 2020.

Mask Use Mandated at Hospitals and Health Centres

DESCRIPTION

On August 24, 2020 the Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced that beginning September 1, 2020 visitors to all hospitals and health-care facilities will be required to wear non-medical masks

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Requirement will not apply to children under two or anyone with an underlying medical health condition.

Visitors are asked to arrive at facilities with their own non-medical mask. Those who do not have a mask will be notified of locations where they may be purchased. In certain circumstances, they will be provided with one.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated August 24, 2020 here.

Emergency Measures Act Orders

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba government has made regulatory amendments to allow municipal bylaw enforcement officers to enforce public health orders in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Manitoba government has renewed a number of orders under the Emergency Measures Act to help individuals, business and government cope with challenges presented by the pandemic and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Regulatory amendments empower municipal bylaw enforcement officers to issue tickets for the violation of public health emergency orders and emergency health hazard orders including the following:

  • orders limiting the size of gatherings;
  • orders imposing health protection measures on business (e.g. social distancing, capacity limits, patrons to remain seated at bars, etc.);
  • orders requiring people with a positive COVID-19 test, or those advised they are a close contact, to self-isolate;
  • orders requiring people travelling into Manitoba to self-isolate according to public health; and
  • orders prohibiting travel to northern Manitoba.

The orders being renewed until March/April 2021 include: Manitoba Conservation and Climate; Manitoba Education; Manitoba Families; Manitoba Finance; Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living; Manitoba Justice.

The temporary suspension of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) credential provision is extended until No. 15, 2020.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 23, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 10, 2020 here.

Manitoba Investing In Care Homes

DESCRIPTION

The Government of Manitoba is investing $17.9 million for the development and construction of all-season shelters at personal care homes to allow residents to safely visit with loved ones.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Visitation shelters will consist of single-use shipping containers repurposed and fitted-out for a completely finished visiting facility. Each unit will have a visiting room with space for one resident and up to five visitors. Visitors will enter the visiting room from the outside of the personal care home, while an enclosed link will ensure residents have direct access from the personal care home.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 15, 2020 here.

Support for Recycling and Waste Diversion

DESCRIPTION

On September 14, 2020, the Government of Manitoba announced it will provide $10 million toward recycling and waste diversion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Applies to various regional, grassroots, and non-profit programs and community members.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 14, 2020 here.

Support for Homeless Shelters

DESCRIPTION

On September 17, 2020, the Manitoba Government announced it was investing an additional $1.5 million to support the ongoing and expanded needs of homeless shelters.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The funding includes:
• $726,000 for the continued operation of an isolation space on Sargent Avenue provided by Manitoba Housing, for individuals who have or are suspected to have COVID-19;
• $54,000 for a daytime drop-in program at Main Street Project;
• $228,114 for 50 overnight shelter beds at MSP;
• $150,000 to continue to support 50 overnight shelter beds at Siloam Mission; and

• $360,000 for the ongoing operations of Salvation Army.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 17, 2020 here.

Home Nutrition and Learning Program

DESCRIPTION

On September 23, 2020, the Manitoba Government announced it will invest more than $1.4 million to extend the Home Nutrition and Learning Program until the end of the year, ensuring that participating children will continue to have access to nutritious breakfast packages.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The extended pilot project builds on the government's $2.5-million program that was announced in June. It is being delivered by Andrews Street Family Centre Inc. and Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Inc. in Winnipeg, Samaritan House in Brandon, Cross Lake Community Council in partnership with Food Matters Manitoba in the community of Cross Lake, and Bayline Regional Round Table in Thicket Portage, Pikwitonei, Ilford/War Lake and Wabowden.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 23, 2020 here.

COVID Alert App

DESCRIPTION

On October 2, 2020, the Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Frieson announced that the Health Canada COVID Alert app is now available to Manitoba residents.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The app will provide digital COVID-19 exposure alerts once the app is downloaded to a smartphone. The national COVID Alert app uses Bluetooth technology to detect when users are near each other. If a user tests positive for COVID-19, they can choose to let other users know about potential exposure risk without sharing any personal information.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 1, 2020 here.

COVID Testing

DESCRIPTION

Manitoba has set out its strategic plan to immediately distribute and begin rapid COVID-19 testing, as part of the province's comprehensive plan to help protect Manitobans at greatest risk from the virus.

Province advises of new COVID test site.

The Manitoba government and Doctors Manitoba are working together to enable COVID-19 testing at community medical clinics by physicians.

The Manitoba government is introducing new, more convenient ways for people to access COVID-19 testing in Winnipeg and positive test results online.

The Government of Manitoba opened a new testing site in Brandon, Manitoba as of October 16, 2020.

The Government of Manitoba announced that a new mobile testing site for COVID-19 will open on September 30, 2020.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Manitoba just received 13 rapid test devices, called the Abbott ID NOW, along with enough supplies for more than 4,000 tests. Based on public health advice, most devices will be located in remote communities, including Swan River, The Pas, Churchill, Thompson, Lynn Lake, Gillam and Flin Flon, where delays due to transportation issues, weather or other factors could affect access to traditional testing and a timely public health response. These communities also have existing lab infrastructure, which is needed for rapid tests.

A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will open Oct. 31 at the Manitoba Public Insurance building at 125 King Edward St. in Winnipeg. The new site will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and will add immediate additional capacity in Winnipeg, performing up to 400 tests per day once fully established.

Dakota Medical Centre at 17-845 Dakota St. in Winnipeg will be the first to introduce dedicated COVID-19 testing in community clinics. Testing at this location will become available in the coming days and more information about how to access testing will be available soon, the minister added.

A new, appointment-based scheduling system for COVID-19 tests will be implemented. The system is rolling out in Winnipeg first to help address the high demand for tests across the city.

A new drive-up site for COVID-19 testing opened at Keystone Centre, 1175-18th St. in Brandon. The new Keystone Centre testing site will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and weekends, and from noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The site will add immediate additional capacity in Brandon, performing up to 120 tests per day once fully established, adding to the overall system capacity in Manitoba's second-largest city.

The mobile testing site is located at 1181 Portage Ave. in Winnipeg operating from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. The locations of the additional new drive-thru sites will include one site in east Winnipeg on Regent Avenue West, one in the Polo Park area on King Edward Street and one in the south part of the city, with the option to add a fourth site in Winnipeg if needed.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated November 3, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 29, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 19, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 16, 2020 here.

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated September 30, 2020 here.

2020-2021 Budget Implementation Bill

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba government has introduced legislation required to implement the tax cuts announced in Budget 2020 and bring relief to Manitoba households and businesses.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The proposed budget implementation and tax statutes amendment act, 2020 is the procedural legislation that supports the summary budget and amends tax legislation.

The act would:

confirm a commitment made in March to raise the thresholds of the Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy, which will benefit approximately 1,000 Manitoba medium-sized businesses and exempt 220 employers from the payroll tax;

  • formalize the Seniors Economic Recovery Credit that was advanced to more than 226,000 Manitobans in May in response to COVID-19;
  • eliminate probate fees on approximately 3,500 estates each year;
  • energize the film sector by increasing the Film and Video Production Tax Credit to 38 per cent of eligible production costs for Manitoba production corporations;
  • increase the number of child-care spaces eligible for the Child Care Centre Development Tax Credit to 682; and
  • improve accountability by remediating funds used by the previous government to collect various fees and levies that were not being used for their intended purposes. This also includes the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Fund, as recommended by Manitoba's auditor general, to remove an unnecessary and unique-to-Manitoba procedural step in health service funding unrelated to health care or health coverage.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 9, 2020 here.

Flu Vaccination Campaign

DESCRIPTION

The Province of Manitoba launched a new flu vaccination campaign on October 15, 2020, in response to the upcoming flu season.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The 2020-21 campaign will be targeted to those most vulnerable and their caregivers, including specific outreach to the health-care sector and the public service. In an effort to protect those most at risk and to reduce the strain on the health-care system, the province has increased its vaccination order by 20 per cent.

This year, the high-dose influenza vaccine criteria is expanding for the 2020-21 influenza season to allow more seniors to get the high-dose influenza vaccine for free starting this fall. In addition to those who were eligible previously, Manitobans 65 years of age and older who meet one of the following criteria are now also eligible:

  • residents of supportive and assisted living housing;
  • those who are newly incarcerated or transferred from other federal or out of province correctional facilities;
  • those receiving home care services while on a waiting list for admission into a long-term care facility;
  • those living on a First Nation or in a remote or isolated community; and
  • those living north of the 53rd parallel of latitude.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 15, 2020 here.

Tax Relief

DESCRIPTION

On October 13, 2020, the Finance Minister, Scott Fielding announced that Manitobans no longer have to pay the provincial sales tax when they get their personal income tax returns prepared.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The minister noted this exemption builds on other steps taken to provide tax relief for Manitobans as part of the $2,020 Tax Rollback Guarantee, such as:

  • the continued indexing of the Basic Personal Amount and personal income tax brackets;
  • reducing the sales tax rate to seven per cent from eight per cent;
  • removing the sales tax from will preparation;
  • removing the sales tax from home and commercial property insurance; and
  • reducing vehicle registration fees.

The province plans to implement further tax relief measures during this legislative session including the elimination of probate fees on estates and phasing out the education property tax.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 13, 2020 here.

Electronic Business Submissions

DESCRIPTION

Manitoba Finance is permanently implementing measures introduced as part of the COVID-19 response to reduce red tape and allow more work to be handled electronically.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Changes to the Companies Office and Financial Institutions Regulation Branch will allow businesses to submit information and documents with electronic signatures or without signatures where appropriate, and issue certificates, documents and information electronically.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 19, 2020 here.

Safe Restart Funding

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba government is flowing over $100 million to Manitoba municipalities as part of the federal Safe Restart Agreement.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

As part of the Safe Restart Agreement, Manitoba has received $106 million for municipalities and public transit. Of that, $72.6 million will flow directly to Manitoba's 137 municipalities on a per-capita basis. The remaining $33.4 million will be allocated for public transit in the five Manitoba municipalities with eligible public transit systems. The formula for this allocation is being finalized and will consider factors such as ridership as well as projected losses compared to pre-COVID levels.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 22, 2020 here.

Changes to Halt the Spread

DESCRIPTION

Manitoba's chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced province wide changes to the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System today in order to halt the growing community transmission of COVID-19 in Manitoba.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The announcement included:

  • Critical level (red) in the Winnipeg Metro Region – Effective Monday, Nov. 2, the Winnipeg Metro Region will move to the Critical level (red) on the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System. This includes the following changes:
    • Bars and restaurants will be closed except for take-out and delivery.
    • Most retail will be reduced to 25 per cent capacity.
    • Sports and recreation programming will be suspended.
    • Gyms and fitness centres will have reduced capacity to 25 per cent and masks will be mandatory, even when exercising.
    • Movie theatres and concert halls will close.
    • Personal services have no change and stay at 50 per cent capacity.
    • Non-urgent and elective surgeries and diagnostics will be suspended. Scheduled surgeries in a number of essential and time-sensitive areas will continue to be performed including cancer, cardiac and trauma. Patients will be contacted directly if their scheduled surgeries are affected.
    • Visitation at all hospitals in the Winnipeg Metro Region has been suspended, with exceptions made on a case-by-case basis for patients receiving end-of-life care, in labour and delivery, as well as in pediatrics.
    • Faith-based gatherings are reduced to 15 per cent or 100 people, whichever is lower.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 30, 2020 here.

Youth Futurpreneur Project

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba government is providing $750,000 to Futurpreneur to support a three-year youth economic recovery project to combat the economic effects of COVID-19.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Manitoba's support will leverage a total of $4 million in federal government and private-sector investments and is expected to result in 150 new businesses and 400 jobs over three years.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 27, 2020 here.

Job Protected Leave

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba government plans to introduce amendments today to the Employment Standards Code so more workers can take protected leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic and apply for federal benefits.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To align with federal eligibility criteria, the amendments would extend provincial leave entitlements to include workers who are more susceptible to COVID-19 because of underlying health conditions, ongoing medical treatments or other illnesses.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated October 26, 2020 here.

Increased Enforcement of Public Health Orders

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba Government announced it will invest $2.5 million and grant public health enforcement powers to over 275 additional personnel to help protect Manitobans as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Additional enforcement powers will be granted to provincial staff including motor carrier enforcement officers, fire safety inspectors and water resources officers. The province will also empower bylaw officers, including municipally contracted officers, to help enforce the public health orders. Over 275 additional personnel will be able to assist with enforcement of measures to protect the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated November 5, 2020 here.

Access to Mental Health

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba Government announced it is partnering with a number of organizations to further expand a hub model for integrated youth services, including mental health and addiction services for youth and young adults.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The Manitoba government is investing $1.55 million in the expansion, with $2.65 million in additional funding coming from the philanthropic partners. Manitoba's first youth hub providing integrated services was established at NorWest Co-Op Community Health in Winnipeg in 2017. Through this initiative, three additional youth hub sites will be established in Manitoba. The youth hubs will bring together mental health care, addiction services, primary care, peer support and other social services in a way that provides access to integrated services for young people and their families in a youth-friendly, 'one-stop-shop' model.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated November 4, 2020 here.

Virtual Care Options

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba Government announced it is working with physicians to ensure Manitobans can stay connected to their doctor with more virtual care options.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The new options will allow both specialists and family physicians to offer more comprehensive visits virtually, with more time to take a full patient history, review the results of testing with patients and discuss treatment options. Family physicians can offer extended visits to patients over the age of 65, recognizing seniors often have more medical concerns and may require additional time with their physician than other patients.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba's news release dated November 6, 2020 here.


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