Trail Talking

Manitoba’s Multi-phased Effort to Gradually Restore Services

  • Bob Lagassé, Author
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly, Dawson Trail

On May 4, our province began a careful, multi-phased effort to gradually restore services, open some businesses, and increase recreational activities. A variety of non-essential health-care and retail businesses have been given the option to reopen, following strict guidelines. I’d like to thank everyone for doing their part to help flatten the curve and making it possible for us to begin restoring our province. We are still being very cautious, and I encourage you all to continue following social distancing protocols. For more details, visit

Even though we have begun our phased approach to restoring services, our government is still offering many programs to help Manitobans through these stressful times.

The Manitoba Economic Support Centre to help Manitoba businesses, charities and non-profits navigate federal and provincial programs that they may qualify for. The focus of this service will be to assist and support businesses, charities and non-profits in applying for the following:

The federal government’s 75% wage subsidy (CEWS). As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.

The $40,000 interest free line of credit (CEBA). This $25 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small business and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced, due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 virus.

The Manitoba GAP Protection Program (MGPP). The Manitoba Government is allocating $120 million to the Manitoba Gap Protection Program. The MGPP is available to any business in Manitoba who fail to qualify for Federal COVID-19 assistance programs. The province will advance each eligible business a non-interest bearing forgivable MGPP loan of up to $6,000.

The Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program. Manitoba is investing up to $120 million in a new wage subsidy program to support employers from the private and non-profit sectors to hire high school and post- secondary students this summer. Employers are eligible to receive a $7 per hour wage subsidy, up to $5,000 per student, for a maximum of 5 students. The program is available for student employment between May 1 and September 4, 2020.

We recognize that this is a very stressful and uncertain time, so to support the mental health of Manitobans, our province has invested in an internet-based therapy service program. The AbilitiCBT program is a free and confidential virtual-therapy platform and has proven to be one of the most effective and efficient therapy methods available. Individuals do not need to be referred to the program by a doctor, they can start anytime by completing the online assessment on the website. The program is guided by professional therapists and addresses mild to moderate anxiety symptoms related to pandemics, such as, uncertainty, physical isolation, caring for family and community members, information overload, and stress management.

Our government is committed to helping Manitobans navigate this challenging and unprecedented time.