Premier Kelvin Goertzen and Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced that the provincewide state of emergency under the Emergency Measures Act will expire today as the order is no longer required to help the province protect Manitobans from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Nineteen months ago we declared a state of emergency to help protect the physical and financial health and safety of all Manitobans and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our hospitals and in our communities,” said Goertzen.”As we continue to move toward a post-pandemic Manitoba, we want to remind everyone, although the state of emergency is expiring, COVID-19 is still here. With vaccination rates among the highest in the country with over 82 per cent of eligible Manitobans fully vaccinated, we can help control COVID, but it’s important that all Manitobans continue to follow the fundamentals that help us limit our risks.”
The state of emergency was first declared on March 20, 2020, by the powers set out in section 10(1) and 10(2) of the Emergency Measures Act and will expire at 4 p.m. today, Oct. 21.
Public health orders can continue to be issued through the Public Health Act without a declared provincewide state of emergency. The province can declare a new state of emergency if required in the future.
The state of emergency allowed for a number of emergency orders to be made that were beyond the scope of the Public Health Act. The Manitoba government used the powers in section 12.3 to make the order regarding personal care home staffing and work deployment to help protect residents of personal care homes from COVID-19 by restricting staff movement between personal care homes. This order is no longer required as amendments were made to the Public Health Act that enabled the issue to be addressed under that act.
In addition, the province used the powers in section 12.6 to make a variety of temporary suspension orders around corporate meeting provisions to allow for virtual meetings, in-person commissioning and witnessing to be done remotely, and providing relief related to youth exiting care under the Child and Family Services Act. The temporary suspensions were made to assist Manitobans in responding to difficulties created by the pandemic and are no longer required.
Lastly, orders were made under section 12.13 regarding varying reporting deadlines for government and government agencies. This power was used to make orders to allow for extended provincial government reporting deadlines in 2020-21 as organizational resources were redeployed to address the impacts of the pandemic.
“Our government will continue to remain cautious and vigilant in efforts to stop the spread of the virus,” said Schuler. “Manitoba’s Emergency Measures Organization provincial response team will continue to work with industry partners and experts in supporting programs and services to assist in Manitoba’s COVID-19 response strategy.”
Public health orders are still in effect, and Manitobans are encouraged to continue to follow public health guidelines around the use of masks and vaccinations to lessen the impact of a fourth wave.
To view the state of emergency and public health orders, visit manitoba.ca.