The province will ensure critical funding to Manitoba municipalities remains intact during the unprecedented economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As Manitobans, we are all facing tough times and I want to make one thing very clear – we are committed to maintaining our funding to municipalities as promised in Budget 2020,” said Premier Brian Pallister. “This is in spite of unprecedented financial pressure on the provincial government, but we want to provide certainty to municipalities to help maintain critical essential services such as emergency personnel.”
The province provides a total of $172.6 million in operating funding to municipalities as well a total of $137 million in municipal infrastructure funding.
Following Wednesday’s release of Restoring Safe Services: Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap to Recovery, the premier hosted a series of socially distanced meetings and tele-conferences to discuss the front-line fight against the pandemic with municipal leaders from across Manitoba.
“Manitobans are resilient and it is heartwarming to witness the way our communities band together in times of crisis,” said Pallister. “We will beat this pandemic together and will come out stronger for it.”
Maintaining critical funding to municipalities is one of the ways the provincial government continues to directly support Manitoba communities. In March, the province announced nearly $8 million in one-time funding for spring flood preparedness projects in 83 municipalities.
Manitoba has invested more than $900 million under the Manitoba Protection Plan in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, the province has announced a number of measures in order to provide financial relief for Manitobans including:
- Ensuring up to $110 million is returned to Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) policyholders. Rebates are expected to be around 11 per cent, or between $140 to $160 per average policyholder.
- Providing up to $120 million to support Manitoba’s small and medium-sized businesses through the Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP). The province will advance each eligible business the non-interest bearing forgivable MGPP loan of $6,000, for a total of up to $120 million.
- Returning the $37-million Workers Compensation Board (WCB) surplus to eligible Manitoba employers. This month, eligible employers will receive a credit to their account based on 20 per cent of their 2019 premium. WCB expects $29 million will be returned to the private sector, with approximately $7 million going to small businesses in Manitoba.
For current information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, visit manitoba.ca.
A comprehensive list of Manitoba government COVID-19 measures can be found at manitoba.ca.