The Manitoba government is releasing data on public feedback to Phase Three of the province’s Restoring Safe Services roadmap to economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and on surveys completed by parents and students on its school re-entry plan.

“We asked Manitobans how they feel about our government’s plan to further reopen the economy, and thousands of people took the time to complete the survey,” said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen. “I thank Manitobans for taking part and providing their thoughts on how we can keep people across our province safe, while taking steps to return to a new normal.”

On June 11, the Manitoba government introduced a preliminary draft of the third phase of the Restoring Safe Services plan to further ease public health measures put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between June 11 and June 21, 5,379 people provided feedback on the plan. The top five areas of interest included education and the post-secondary sector, health care, the public service, child care and the recreation, culture and tourism sector.

The survey showed that 67 per cent of respondents somewhat or definitely agreed that increasing public gathering sizes should be a priority. In addition, 62 per cent somewhat or definitely agreed that restrictions should be eased to allow inter-provincial travel from areas such as Saskatchewan and northwestern Ontario.

The surveys of students and parents on the school re-entry plan were launched on June 12 and were open for feedback until June 21. Approximately 7,000 student submissions and 30,538 parent submissions were received.

“Thousands of Manitoba families told us how they are doing with the changes to schools and what they envision for a return to classrooms in the fall,” said Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen. “I thank everyone for taking the time to share their views and for helping the province develop a strong plan that will keep students, teachers and staff safe when they go back to class.”

According to the survey, 84 per cent of students said they are doing OK or very well adjusting to physical distancing measures for COVID-19. In addition, 75 per cent of parents who took the survey said they are somewhat or very comfortable with the possibility of their children going back to in-class instruction in September.