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Manitoba declared a State of Emergency on March 20, 2020 under
the Emergency Measures Act.

Tax Payment Filing Extension

DESCRIPTION

On March 22, 2020, the Government of
Manitoba announced that the tax filing deadlines for business
impacted by COVID-19 would be extended by two months.


Businesses will have up to two
additional months to remit retail sales taxes and payroll
taxes.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Small and medium-sized businesses with
monthly remittances of no more than $10,000.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba’s news
release here.

Temporary Exception To Employment
Standards Layoff Rules

DESCRIPTION

On March 27, 2020, the Finance Minister
announced that it is adding a temporary exception to the employment
standards regulations in order to provide flexibility to employers
to recall employees once work picks up again.


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, requiring
employers to provide pay in lieu of notice.

LINKS

See
the Government of Manitoba’s news release
here
.

Postponement of Eviction Hearings

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba Residential Tenancies
Branch (RTB) and Residential Tenancies Commission (RTC) will
postpone hearings for non-urgent matters to halt evictions.
All scheduled RTB and RTC hearings will be delayed, with certain
exceptions to deal with urgent issues that involve the health and
safety of tenants.


The measures to suspend non-urgent
eviction hearings will be in place until May 31, 2020. This
timeline will be monitored by the province to determine if
additional adjustments are required.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Tenants may continue to reach out to
the RTB to resolve urgent situations regarding involving the health
and safety of landlords and tenants. This could include
landlords illegally shutting off utilities, locking tenants out of
a rental unit, or situations where a tenant is conducting illegal
activities from their rental unit.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba’s news
release dated march 24, 2020 here.

Freezes on Rent Increases

DESCRIPTION

The province has suspended any rent
increases scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2020 or later and is
postponing all non-urgent eviction hearings.

LINKS

See the Government of Manitoba’s news
release dated march 24, 2020 here.

Childcare for Essential Workers

DESCRIPTION

The province is investing $27.6 million
to help provide child care to essential front-line workers who are
supporting the province’s COVID-19 response. The funding will
be distributed in a number of ways:

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Eligible early childhood educators can
apply to receive a grant of up to $3,000 to provide care to
children at their homes or at other appropriate spaces.



The grants can be used to purchase supplies for meeting health and
safety requirements, such as a fire extinguisher or first aid kits,
or to undertake minor upgrades to physical spaces or to provide
quality learning and care items such as high chairs, mats or
books.

LINKS

See
the Government of Manitoba’s news release dated March 20, 2020
here
and
the application page here

Suspended student loan repayment

DESCRIPTION

The province is suspending repayment of
Manitoba Student Aid loans for six months. Manitoba Student Loans
remain interest free.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Students do not need to apply for the
repayment pause.



During the deferral period, the program will accept payments from
borrowers who choose to continue repaying loans.

LINKS


See the Government of Manitoba’s news release dated April
7, 2020 here

Paid administrative leave for
Healthcare staff

DESCRIPTION

The Manitoba government will now
compensate health-care workers who are required to self-isolate for
14 days due to possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The Manitoba government will provide
health-care staff paid administrative leave for the full 14-day
period of asymptomatic self-isolation. Should a worker become
symptomatic during self-isolation, the individual will be
compensated by sick leave benefits, pursuant to their collective
agreement

LINKS


See the Government of Manitoba’s news release dated April
14, 2020 here

Workers Compensation Board Surplus
Return and additional supports

DESCRIPTION

On April 21, 2020, the Workers
Compensation Board of Manitoba announced that it is returning a
$37-million surplus to eligible employers in the province to
provide financial relief



The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba will also defer premium
payments until the end of May, not charge business interest and/or
penalties for non-payment until October, extend the
payroll-reporting deadline until the end of May and ensure that
coverage remains active for accounts that choose to defer payments
until the end of October.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

In May, eligible employers will receive
a credit to their account based on 20 per cent of their 2019
premium. To be eligible to receive the surplus, employers must have
fulfilled their payroll reporting responsibilities for 2019 and
paid a WCB premium in 2019. Employers can still report their 2019
payroll to receive the surplus distribution.

LINKS


See the Government of Manitoba’s news release dated April 21,
2020 here

Support for small and medium sized
business

DESCRIPTION

On April 22, 2020, the Government of
Manitoba announced it wil provide up to $120 million to support
Manitoba’s small and medium-sized businesses that are facing
significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.



Through the Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) the province
will advance each eligible business a non-interest bearing
forgivable loan of $6,000. The loan will be forgiven on Dec. 31,
2020, if the recipient attests at that time the business has not
received any major non-repayable COVID-19 federal supports such as
the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Business
Account, as well as sector-specific grant federal programs
specifically developed in response to the pandemic. If the
applicant has received benefits under a federal COVID program, then
the loan will be added to the recipient’s 2020 tax bill.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for the MGPP funding, a
business must:


  • have been operational on March 20, 2020, the date the Manitoba
    government declared a province wide state of emergency;
  • have temporarily ceased/curtailed operations as a result of a
    COVID-19 public health order and have been harmed by the health
    order;
  • be registered and in good standing with the Manitoba Business
    and Corporate Registry;
  • have not qualified for federal government COVID-19 grant
    support; and



have an email address and a bank account.

LINKS


See the Government of Manitoba’s news release dated April
22, 2020 here

Manitoba Public Insurance Rebates

DESCRIPTION

On April 23, 2020, the Government of
Manitoba announced that Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is
returning up to $110 million to provide financial relief to its
policyholders.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

Rebates cheques will be provided at the
end of May to early June and will be based on what policyholders
paid last year and expected to be around 11 per cent, or between
$140 to $160, per average policyholder.

LINKS


See the Government of Manitoba’s news release dated April
23, 2020 here

Canada Emergency Response Benefit
(CERB) to be treated as income for Employment and Income Assistance
(EIA)

DESCRIPTION

On April 24, 2020, the Government of
Manitoba announced it that the federal CERB benefit will be treated
as earned income under EIA. As a result, EIA clients who receive
the CERB benefit will receive more than they would on EIA
alone.



Families will also be able to keep the increased Canada Child
Benefit and GST rebate without any impact to their EIA
benefits

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The province will work with clients to
help them navigate the federal process and explain how it will
affect their EIA benefits. This will include helping them resume
receiving support from EIA once the CERB benefits end.

LINKS


See the Government of Manitoba’s news release dated April
24, 2020 here

Summer Student Recovery Plan

DESCRIPTION

On April 24, 2020, the Government of
Manitoba announced the Summer Student Recovery Plan to provide wage
subsidies to support high school and post-secondary students
employed in the private and non-profit sectors.



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.

ACCESS AND ELIGIBILITY

The program is open to Manitoba
students aged 15 to 29, with an employment period from May 1 to
September 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.


Employers must place students in jobs
that can be accommodated under current public health orders and be
able to adapt to recommendations provided by public health
officials over the summer.



For the first two weeks of the program, priority will be given to
employers who do not qualify for the various federal government
assistance programs.

LINKS

See
the Government of Manitoba’s news release dated April 24, 2020
here

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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