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Manitoba Economic Support

16/10/2020


Supports for Individuals

  • The federal CERB benefit will be treated as earned income under EIA in Manitoba. As a result, EIA clients who receive the CERB benefit will receive more than they would on EIA alone. They will also continue to receive prescription drug, dental and optical benefits regardless of whether they are still eligible for provincial social assistance. (April 24)
  • The province is extending $45 million in direct financial support to Manitoba seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic through the new Seniors Economic Recovery Credit that will deliver a $200 tax credit to each recipient. (May 5)
  • The Manitoba government will reduce vehicle registration fees by 10 per cent beginning July 1 with a $11- million program. (May 12)
  • More than 23,000 Manitobans receive monthly benefits under the disability category of Employment and Income Assistance. Under the Disability Economic Support Program, each of these Manitobans will be mailed a $200 cheque in early June for one-time support. This payment will not be considered taxable income and will not affect any other benefits received. (May 26)
  • The Manitoba government is introducing the Manitoba Job Restart program, which will provide one initial payment of $500 plus three additional bi-weekly payments for $500 each, for a total of $2,000 over six weeks. Program participants must voluntarily stop collecting CERB or CESB support from the federal government. The program is accepting applications until July 31. (June 23)
  • The Manitoba government is expanding its $120-million Risk Recognition program to include more frontline workers who were exposed to added risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential workers must have worked a minimum 200 cumulative hours (or would have worked that amount but were required to selfisolate under public health orders) from March 20 to May 29. The province has extended the application deadline until Monday, June 29 at noon. (June 16)
Childcare
  • The Manitoba government is investing $27.6 million to help provide childcare to essential front-line workers who need it as they support the province’s COVID-19 response. This includes a new $18-million grant program to help early childhood educators affected by the suspension of childcare services in centres to have access to immediate funds. They will also continue to provide licensed childcare centres with their full operating grants and subsidies. (March 20)
  • The Manitoba government is investing more than $22 million in new and reallocated funds to improve sustainability and create child care spaces for more than 1,400 children and give parents and caregivers more child care options to meet their needs. (August 26)
Housing
  • As part of the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency, the Manitoba government will postpone eviction hearings and freeze rent increases. The province will suspend any rent increases scheduled to take effect on April 1 or later. (March 24)
  • The province is continuing to postpone non-urgent eviction hearings and suspending any rent increases scheduled to take effect in June. The Residential Tenancies Branch (RTB) and Residential Tenancies Commission (RTC) will continue to postpone all hearings for non-urgent matters to halt evictions, and all scheduled hearings are delayed to protect Manitobans from evictions during the pandemic, with certain exceptions to deal with urgent issues that involve the health and safety of tenants. Eviction orders will only be issued to address issues affecting health and safety including unlawful activities. (May 29)
  • Manitoba has extended provisions to protect tenants. The current freeze on rent increases for residential tenants will continue. Landlords can continue to give notice of their intention to increase rent, but the higher rate cannot be charged until after Sept. 30. Non-urgent eviction hearings will continue to be postponed, and will not be scheduled until after Sept. 30. (June 22)
Support for Students
  • The province is suspending repayment of student loans for six months to reduce the financial burden on post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective April 1, Manitoba has suspended all repayments of loans under the Manitoba Student Aid Program through Sept. 30. (April 7)
  • The Manitoba government has launched the Summer Student Recovery Plan. Under the new program, up to $120 million is available for employers to access a $7 per hour wage subsidy, up to a maximum of $5,000 per student. The program is open to Manitoba students aged 15 to 29, with an employment period from May 1 to Sept. 4. Employers can be subsidized to hire up to five students. Reimbursement will be provided at the end of the employment period, upon proof of payment of student wages. (April 24)
  • The province is increasing its support for students and post-secondary institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing more matching funding for the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative (MSBI) for the 2020-21 academic year. (May 6)
  • In addition, the separate Manitoba Bursary program, which provides up-front financial support to students in need, has been increased by $1.8 million for 2020-21 to put a total of $17.3 million into the hands of students when they need it as they begin their studies. (May 6)
  • The Manitoba government has launched Student Jobs MB, an online tool dedicated to matching students looking for job opportunities to employers with workforce needs throughout the province. Student Jobs MB will be the primary source used by the province to connect students with government employment opportunities offered through the Student Temporary Employment Program, the Conservation Green Team and Urban/Hometown Green Team partners. (May 28)

Support for Businesses

  • As part of the Manitoba Protection Plan, the province is providing the following protections for the next six months until October 1:
    • instructing Manitoba Hydro, Centra Gas and Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) to not charge interest or penalties in the event that Manitobans are unable to pay at this time
    • instructing MPI to relax ordinary practices on policy renewals and collections
    • instructing Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries not to charge interest on receivables from restaurants, bars and specialty wine stores
    • supporting Workers Compensation Board (WCB) to do the same and asking WCB to extend relief from penalties
    • for late payments
    • directing Manitoba Hydro and Centra Gas to not disconnect customers during these times. (April 3)
  • The government is also deferring provincial income tax and corporate income tax filing deadlines and payments to coincide with the current revised federal deferral of income tax to August 31 and has indicated it would be willing to extend these deferrals until October 1, should the federal government agree, the premier added. (April 3)
  • Manitoba is accelerating the removal of $75 million of annual PST from residential and business properties, effective July 1. (April 3)
  • The Manitoba government has engaged Manitoba-based business, 24-7 Intouch, to help businesses, notfor-profits and charities facing economic challenges due to COVID-19 connect with support programs. (April 13)
  • The provincial government’s online portal to facilitate business applications to the Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) is live. Eligible businesses will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of $6,000, electronically deposited into their business bank account within a few days of applying online. (May 1)
  • The province is unveiling the Manitoba Works Capital Incentive, a new approach to tax increment financing (TIF) that levers incremental education property tax rebates to stimulate economic growth and job creation. A new or existing business interested in getting established or expanding in Manitoba may apply to the program if:
    • the business is prepared to make a minimum capital investment of $10 million to a specific property, which will be designated for tax increment financing benefits;
    • a minimum of 65 percent of total project costs are from private sources; and
    • there is demonstrable potential to create and/or maintain jobs in Manitoba, or the new business activity will have a substantial and measurable net economic benefit to the province. (May 16)
  • Manitoba is waiving big-game utilization requirements for 2020, ensuring that future allocations will not be affected by the loss of the spring season due to the pandemic, and provide additional black bear hunting opportunities to outfitters in areas with chronic black bear-related agricultural damage. (May 22)
  • After extending the April and May filing deadlines for small and medium-sized businesses with monthly remittances of no more than $10,000, the province is now extending the deadlines for June as well. Businesses will now have up to three additional months to remit retail sales taxes and the Health and PostSecondary Education Tax Levy, commonly called the payroll tax. (May 29)
  • The new “Manitoba Back to Work This Summer” initiative is a hiring program to help Manitoba-based businesses rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers can apply to receive funding for up to five employees hired or rehired after June 18. The program will reimburse 50 percent of the total wages paid from June 18 until Aug. 30, to a maximum of $5,000 per worker and $25,000 per business. (June 18)
  • The new Non-Profit Summer Student Incentive Grant is now available to eligible charities and non-profit organizations that apply for the Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program. The grant will provide an additional $6,000 to approved applicants that hire at least one full-time equivalent student under the jobs program for at least eight weeks, with $3,000 paid upfront and the remainder paid out at the end of summer employment. (June 16)
  • Organizations are also eligible for up to $25,000 in support to hire up to five summer students aged 15 to 29 under the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Program, which is a critical part of the provincial pandemic response, the premier noted. The program provides private and not-for-profit, charitable sector employers a $7 per hour wage subsidy for each student hired, to a maximum of $5,000. (June 16)
  • The province will extend the April and May filing deadlines for small- and medium-sized businesses with monthly remittances of no more than $10,000. Businesses will have additional time to remit retail sales taxes and the Health and Post-Secondary Education Tax Levy, commonly called the payroll tax. deadlines are now being extended through September. (June 24)
  • The Manitoba government is committed to protecting businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by introducing a temporary ban on commercial evictions as part of an effort to drive increased participation in the federal-provincial cost-shared Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. (June 26)
  • With support from the Manitoba government, the B2B Manitoba health and safety online marketplace is being expanded to allow businesses and not-for-profits to contract health and safety services. The B2BManitoba.ca app was developed by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the Manitoba and Winnipeg chambers of commerce and North Forge Technology Exchange. B2B Manitoba was launched in May to help connect Manitoba businesses with non-medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies needed to operate safely. The province has provided $422,000 in support for the app including enhancements. (Aug 12)
  • The Manitoba government has formally launched its #RestartMB campaign as a roadmap to recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Brian Pallister announced today. The campaign will solicit feedback through the http://EngageMB.ca portal and drive business participation and awareness of government programs. It will continue to encourage Manitobans to contact the Manitoba Economic Support Centre to access programs and resources, and the centre will promote program priorities in the coming weeks. To date, the centre has called more than 20,000 businesses a week to promote programs such as wage subsidies and the Manitoba Gap Protection Program. (Aug 12)
  • The enhanced Back to Work program will now allow businesses, not-for-profit organizations or charities to receive a subsidy for another 10 full or part-time employees, in addition to the current total of 10. By doubling the amount of subsidized employees to 20, the maximum level of financial support available to employers increases from $50,000 to $100,000. (August 26)
  • The province extended the Back to Work in Manitoba Wage Subsidy by two months until Dec. 31 and announced employers are now able to rehire students previously hired through the Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program, Canada Summer Job Program and Green Team Program. The province confirmed new start-up companies are eligible. (September 14)
Agriculture and Agribusiness
  • Canada and Manitoba will be providing a total of $160,000 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to Direct Farm Manitoba to purchase a software platform that will allow Manitobans to order food online from local producers and farmers’ markets. The funding will also go toward the development of a network of pick-up and delivery options to connect consumers with their orders, and the development of COVID-19 safe handling and packaging practices for producers and processors. (April 27)
  • The governments of Canada and Manitoba announced a new $3-million cost-shared Canadian Agricultural Partnership program to support projects that will help agricultural processors mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Governments will contribute a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs, up to $25,000 per applicant. (July 20)

Employment Standards

  • The province is making temporary amendments to employment standards regulations that would ensure any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination. (March 27)
  • The province is proposing new provisions to the Employment Standards Code that would allow employees to be away from work for specified reasons related to COVID-19. (April 14)
  • The Manitoba government will provide health-care staff paid administrative leave for the full 14-day period of asymptomatic self-isolation. (April 14)