Manitoba will now discontinue, reduce or deny employment and income assistance (EIA) benefits for people with outstanding warrants for serious crimes in an effort to encourage them to come forward and take responsibility for the issue. This announcement was made by Justice Minister Andrew Swan.
“This is an important part of an overall government strategy to address the issue of outstanding warrants,” said Swan. “It complements the work of the Manitoba Integrated Warrant Apprehension Unit that is out there every day tracking down individuals with outstanding warrants.”
Individuals who are applying for or already receiving income assistance will now be required to deal with outstanding warrants for certain offences under the federal Criminal Code to prevent their benefits from being discontinued, reduced or denied, Swan said.
Provisions are in place to minimize the impact on innocent family members and if two or more people are in the household, there will be no reduction in basic benefits for things like rent, utilities and health care, the minister said, adding that eligibility for EIA can be reinstated once a person confirms they have dealt with the outstanding warrant issue.