UPDATED Friday June 5
Number of confirmed/presumptive cases in Manitoba: 300
Total number of recovered Manitobans: 284
Student Jobs MB online portal
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 is simple and free to use, allowing students to be matched with and to apply for multiple jobs with the click of a button. The technology is safe and secure, and designed to protect user privacy. Private-sector employers, not-for-profit organizations and governments are able to post jobs and connect directly with students. This tool expedites the hiring process and will encourage student summer employment. Click here to access the portal.
Phase two COVID-19 reopenings
The provincial government has announced reopenings under the second phase of their Restoring Safe Services plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the new changes come into effect Monday, June 1. Click here to view a full list of changes to industries and sectors across the province.
Youth and Employment Skills Program for agriculture industry
The federal government has announced an investment of up to $9.2 million to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) and fund up to 700 new positions for youth in the agriculture industry. This additional funding will help the agriculture industry attract Canadian youth, ages 15 to 30, to their organizations to assist with labour shortages brought on by the pandemic. This program aims to provide youth, and particularly youth facing barriers to employment, with job experience in agriculture that will provide career-related work experience. The YESP will provide agriculture employers up to 50 per cent of the cost of hiring a Canadian youth up to $14,000. Eligible applicants include producers, agri-businesses, industry associations, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations and research facilities. Employers may apply for this funding retroactive to April 1, 2020, with projects to be completed by March 31, 2021. Application forms are available through the Youth Employment and Skills Program, or to get more information, please contact , or call: 1-866-452-5558. NOTE: this program is available for "non-arms length employees" and would be available for farm familieis with children who may have been displaced from other employment.
Manitoba Women in Agriculture and Food job postings
Manitoba Women in Agriculture and Food has developed a career page with over 60 opportunities open to those looking for careers in the industry. The service is free for anyone seeking employees for the duration of the pandemic. Click here to access the page.
Minister Bibeau statement on CEBA changes for farmers
Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has released a statement on how changes to the Canadian Emergency Business Account will impact farmers. Click here to read the statement.
Public Health Order modification - effective Friday May 22
As of Friday, May 22 public health orders will be modified to increase the limit on gathering size to no more than 25 people for indoor premises and 50 for outdoor areas, providing social distancing measures are in place. Other changes such as an expansion of the types of businesses that can reopen are being discussed and more details will be announced once those decisions are made.
Expansion of the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
The federal government has announced an expansion to the eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include many owner-operated small businesses. The changes to the CEBA will allow more Canadian small businesses to access interest free loans that will help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic. The program will now be available to a greater number of businesses that are sole proprietors receiving income directly from their businesses, businesses that rely on contractors, and family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends rather than payroll. To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:
a business operating account at a participating financial institution
a Canada Revenue Agency business number, and to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million. Eligible non-deferrable expenses could include costs such as rent, property taxes, utilities, and insurance.
Expenses will be subject to verification and audit. Funding will be delivered in partnership with financial institutions. More details, including the launch date for applications under the new criteria, will follow in the days to come.
Extension for Farmland School Tax Rebate
Under the provincial state of emergency, the provincial government is extending deadlines to apply for the 2019 farmland school tax rebate and to appeal tax assessments to the earlier of Sept. 21, 2020, or the end of the state of emergency associated with COVID-19.
Agriculture and Business Solutions Fund
The federal government has announced a $100-million Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund to support companies through unexpected business disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Launched in partnership with Forage Capital Inc. – a Calgary-based venture capital firm – the Agriculture and Food Business Solutions Fund is set up to provide companies with the financial stability and flexibility they need to rebuild their business models during challenging times. FCC is the sole investor in the fund. The fund is set up to support a wide range of enterprises in the agribusiness and agri-food sector, including companies involved in primary production, agri-tech, manufacturing, packaging and distribution. The fund will help companies in times of need through innovative solutions such as convertible debt investments and other flexible financing solutions. Applications will be assessed individually on their merit, and will be supported to a maximum of $10 million. To qualify, companies need to demonstrate an impact from an unexpected business disruption, such as the loss of a key supplier, temporary loss of a facility or permanent loss of critical staff or leadership. Funds cannot be used to repay shareholder loans or purchase shareholder equity positions. Click here for more information.
Isolation supports for temporary foreign workers
The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP) is a one-time $50-million program to help with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food supply in Canada by assisting the farming, fish harvesting, and food production and processing sectors. The program will assist Canadian employers with some of the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period imposed under the Quarantine Act on temporary foreign workers upon entering Canada. The MISTFWP will provide a maximum non-repayable contribution amount of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker. Should an applicant receive assistance from a provincial or territorial government to help cover these costs, or the $1,500 exceeds their incremental costs per employee, the total contribution may be reduced. The federal investment of up to $50-million will be available until fully depleted and, as long as the order under the Quarantine Act is in force and the isolation protocol has to be followed. Click here for more details.
Class 1 testing resuming
MPI will be resuming Class 1 road tests for those who had previously scheduled appointments that were cancelled due to COVID-19. New test bookings will not be available until all cancelled appointments have been rescheduled. Rescheduled Class 1 road tests are planned to begin the week of May 18. MPI will be calling all customers who had previously booked Class 1 road tests that were cancelled, in order of their original test dates. These customers will be contacted by MPI to reschedule their appointment. New test bookings will not be available until all cancelled appointments have been rescheduled. To continue to ensure the safety of both our driver examiners and customers, they have made changes to the testing process, which include:
Requiring all customers to wear their own masks (non-medical masks will be permitted)
inside of vehicles must be sanitized
drivers will have their temperature taken and answer questions to ensure they have not been exposed to COVID-19
MPI staff wearing PPE, including masks, gloves and face shields.
Cancelling the test immediately if customers show any symptoms of a respiratory illness and/or COVID-19 (coughing, etc.) at any time during the pre-test or road test and rebooking for a later time (once new test bookings have been reopened).
Click here for all other MPI-related information as it pertains to COVID-19.
Growing Manitoba Together campaign
KAP has launched a campaign focused on thanking the thousands of Manitobans who play a vital role in ensuring we are fed each and every day. Growing Manitoba Together is our opportunity to say thank you. Click here to view the website and click here to view our news release. Don’t forget to share your thanks on social media by using #mbgrow
Federal government announcement – support for agriculture
The federal government announced the following measures targeted to support farmers, ranchers, agricultural producers, and food processors. Click here to read the full announcement. Details include:
Creating a $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund to help food producers access more personal protective equipment (PPE), adapt to health protocols, automate or modernize their facilities, processes, and operations, and respond to emerging pressures from COVID-19 so they can better supply Canadians with food during this period.
Launching a national AgriRecovery initiative of up to $125 million in funding to help producers faced with additional costs incurred by COVID-19. This includes set-asides for cattle and hog management programs to manage livestock backed-up on farms, due to the temporary closure of food processing plants. This new federal funding will help beef and pork producers and processors adapt to a changing market, and help farmers and ranchers keep their animals longer before marketing.
Announcing the intention to increase the Canadian Dairy Commission’s borrowing limit by $200 million to support costs associated with the temporary storage of cheese and butter to avoid food waste.
Launching a first-ever Surplus Food Purchase Program with an initial $50 million fund designed to help redistribute existing and unsold inventories, which could include products such as potatoes and poultry, to local food organizations who are serving vulnerable Canadians.
Working with provinces and territories to increase interim payments from 50 per cent to 75 per cent through AgriStability, a federal, provincial and territorial program that supports producers who face significant revenue declines. This change has already been enacted in some provinces.
Working with provinces and territories to explore possibilities for expanding the AgriInsurance program to include labour shortages as an eligible risk for the horticulture sector. This work with provincial and territorial partners would insure against lost production due to an insufficient workforce, should producers be unable to find enough labour to harvest.
KAP statement on federal announcement
KAP president Bill Campbell issued a statement in response to the federal government’s announcement yesterday. Click here to read the full statement.
Manitoba Open Farm Day
The 2020 Manitoba Open Farm Day has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Thank you to all our Open Farm Day’s dedicated host sites who have shared their stories with all the visitors who have come to learn about the agriculture industry in Manitoba. MAAS will continue to work with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development to consider options for 2021.
Manitoba Gap Protection Plan online portal
The provincial government’s online portal to facilitate business applications to the Manitoba Gap Protection Program (MGPP) is now live. The MGPP provides an interest-free, forgivable $6,000 loan to small and medium-sized businesses in Manitoba that have experienced hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health orders. Loans are available to businesses that fail to qualify for the various federal government assistance programs and wage subsidies created because of COVID-19. Click here to access the online application form. Applicants must have:
a valid Manitoba Business Number;
a Companies Office registry number;
good standing with the Companies Office;
Manitoba Workers Compensation Board and Manitoba Retail Sales Tax account numbers, if applicable;
the sole proprietor’s social insurance number (SIN) as well as one other partner’s SIN (if the business is a partnership);
business email address; and
business bank account information for purposes of depositing the payment.
Pesticide Applicator/Dealer licenses
The provincial government has made special accommodation this year to keep in line with Public
Health Directives. New applicators/dealers will be able to get their pesticide category necessary for their licence by taking an open book, online timed exam in 2020. In 2021, they will be required to take the closed book exam in order to comply with licence requirements. Click here for more information on this change.
PPE shortages for pesticide application
Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, along with Manitoba Conservation and Climate, have released an advice document for handling pesticides in light of shortages of required PPE for application. Click here to read the full document.
Federal Government COVID-19 updates
The federal government has developed an email portal to share the latest COVID-19 updates with you. Click here to register.
Provincial wildfire protection measures
In light of current events and as a wildfire prevention measure, provincial burn permits issued under The Wildfires Act within the burning permit area will be limited to only essential crop residue burning and other required agricultural, municipal or industrial operations. Burning within the burning permit area requires the approval of an officer and may include a site inspection. Contact a Manitoba Conservation and Climate office for more information. The latest information on municipal and provincial burn restrictions can be found at www.manitoba.ca/wildfire. Provincial burn permit holders must comply with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development’s guidance on crop residue burning and their municipality’s burning permit conditions, where applicable. Daily guidance for crop residue burning will be posted by 11 a.m. at www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/crop-residue-burning-program/index.html.
Prescription safety eyewear and optometry appointments
Effective Monday, May 4, optometrists’ offices will be able to accept appointments for Prescription Safety Eyewear jobs, including eye examinations. COVID-19 safety measures and physical distancing will still be in place at all offices. Please call ahead before visiting – it may be a week or two before optometric offices are able to see the usual number of patients.
Expanded COVID-19 testing capacity
Effective immediately, the provincial government and Shared Health are expanding testing criteria to any Manitoban with symptoms of COVID-19, even mild symptoms including a cough, runny nose, sore throat and/or fever, to be tested to better determine the spread of the virus in Manitoba. The Manitoba government and Dynacare have entered into a partnership that will see up to 2,000 tests a day before the end of summer. With Cadham Provincial Lab’s capacity at over 1,000 tests daily, the province expects to have testing capacity of well over 3,000 tests a day, tripling the provinces current testing capacity. Manitobans are reminded that if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and meet testing criteria, they can call Health Links–Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or (toll-free) at 1-888-315-9257 for more information.
Federal government modelling data
The federal government has released updated modelling data to show the spread of COVID-19 and to attempt to forecast future outbreaks. The modelling attempts to show how the epidemic might unfold over the coming months based on our knowledge of how the virus behaves and the potential impact of public health measures. Click here to access the latest modelling information.
CRA tax deadlines and information
The Canada Revenue Agency has put together a helpful resource on new deadlines for both tax filing and payments due to COVID-19. Click here for more information.
Public Safety Canada PPE survey
In an effort to better understand the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs of critical infrastructure partners, Public Safety Canada is launching a second survey to capture more in-depth data with respect to supply and demand regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including sanitization products and COVID-19 testing kits. Click here to take the survey.
Manitoba General Inquiry line
We have received several questions from producers surrounding the application of the provincial public health order and how it could impact different businesses and operations. The province advises you to contact the Manitoba General Inquiry by email at or by phone at 1-204-945-3744 or 1-866-MANITOBA (1-866-626-4862). All health-related calls should be directed to Health Links at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.
Manitoba Economic Support Centre
The provincial government has launched a call centre for business owners with questions about supports available during COVID-19. They can answer questions about both provincial and federal programming. To reach an agent at the Manitoba Economic Support Centre, call 1-888-805-7554.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy application
The federal government recently implemented the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, aimed at preventing further jobs losses and encouraging employers to re-hire workers laid off as a result of COVID-19. The subsidy is retroactive to March 15. Click here to view the application and other information about the program.
Manitoba Public Insurance rebate
Manitoba Public Insurance will be issuing rebates to policyholders, with cheques scheduled to arrive at the end of May or early June. Rebates will be based on what policyholders paid last year and is expected to be around 11 percent. Further details will be made available in the coming weeks.
Canada Emergency Student Benefit
The federal government has announced financial support for post-secondary students. College and university students currently in school, planning to start in September, or who graduated in December 2019 are eligible. Measures include:
the proposed Canada Emergency Student Benefit, which would provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.
the new Canada Student Service Grant, which will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.
For students intending on returning to studies this fall, the government will:
double the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents would also be doubled.
broaden eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student’s and spouse’s contributions in 2020-21, in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
enhance the Canada Student Loans Program by raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided to a student in 2020-21 from $210 to $350.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy calculator
When applying for the Canada Employment Wage Subsidy (CEWS), business owners are asked to enter amounts such as the number of eligible employees and gross payroll. To get ready, you can determine these amounts and preview your subsidy claim now, based on information you enter. The calculator is a tool to help you estimate the amount of your wage subsidy. Click here to access the calculator.
Environmental Farm Plan update
All in-person EFP workshops have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Manitoba Agriculture is now offering EFP workshops for farmers delivered on-line. To register, please call your local Manitoba Agriculture office to put your name on a wait list for an upcoming on-line workshop, and let the office know if your need is urgent. EFP reviews are being conducted remotely at this time. Please call or e-mail KAP’s office to get the contact information for the EFP reviewer in your area and set up a contact -free review of your EFP.
AgriStability enrollment deadline extended
The AgriStability enrollment deadline for the 2020 program year has been extended without penalty, from April 30th to July 3, 2020. This extension will allow farmers more time to sign up for the program. Farmers experiencing losses are encouraged to apply for interim payments under AgriStability for more rapid support.
Canada Summer Jobs program
Last week, the federal government released new details and funding for the Canada Summer Jobs program, including 100% coverage for young workers. This information came after the sign-up deadline for the program and we have heard of individuals looking to access it after the deadline. We have been advised that if producers are interested, they should contact their MP’s office where they can be provided with more information and be granted an extension to register.
Expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account
The federal government is expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to businesses that paid between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019. This new range will replace the previous one of between $50,000 and $1 million and will help address the challenges faced by small businesses to cover non-deferrable operating costs. Since the launch of the CEBA on April 9, 2020, more than 195,000 loans have been approved by financial institutions, extending more than $7.5 billion in credit to small businesses.
Cross-border courier services
We have heard from several producers who have made shipments of parts and supplies to Pembina ND using various parcel services and used Runnin’ Red courier services to get these packages to Winnipeg. At this time, this is the only service we are aware of, but we will promote these local businesses as we hear more. Click here for more information on Runnin’ Red.
Temporary reduction of service at land border crossings
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBSA is temporarily reducing service hours at a total of 27 Canadian land border locations. The temporary hour adjustments are in effect as of April 15, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT. 6 Manitoba ports are impacted: Coulter, Goodlands, Gretna, Lena, Windygates, and Winkler. Click here for the full list of changes.
Changes to Manitoba Employment Standards
The provincial government is moving forward with changes that would allow employees protected leave for eligible purposes. Employees would be able to take as much unpaid time off work as needed to:
be in isolation or quarantine or take any other control measure in accordance with information or directions related to COVID-19 by health professionals, health officers, Health Links–Info Santé, the government of Manitoba or the Government of Canada, a municipal council or a board of health;
obtain medical examination, supervision or treatment;
comply with an order made under The Emergency Measures Act or The Public Health Act;
provide care or support to a family member as a result of COVID-19, including but not limited to, school and daycare closures; or
comply with travel restrictions.
The new provisions would apply to any leave that started between March 1, 2020, and a date to be prescribed in regulation, specified once the pandemic is over.
Federal support for CFIA
The Government of Canada is providing $20 million to the CFIA to support critical food inspection. This investment will allow the CFIA to hire, train and equip additional staff (including recently retired CFIA inspectors and veterinarians) to conduct critical inspection activities, reassign staff from within the Agency to focus on critical services, and work closer with industry and trading partners to minimize supply disruptions during this crisis. The funding will also support the CFIA in developing flexible ways to carry out inspections, including through the expanded use of electronic tools such as tablets and access to the CFIA's remote service delivery network.
Click here for more information.
Federal support for temporary foreign workers
The federal government has announced $50 million in support for farmers and food production and processing employers to put in place measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period for workers arriving from abroad. The federal government will provide support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to ensure requirements are fully met. The funding is conditional on employers not being found in violation of the mandatory 14-day isolation protocols or any other public health order. This program will be available as long as the Quarantine Act is in force and the isolation protocol is followed. Click here for more details on the announcement.
Public health order enforcement measures
Effective immediately, both the province and the City of Winnipeg will be issuing fines for individuals and businesses found to be in contravention of the public health order released on March 20. Fine amounts for breaching these emergency orders will be set at $486 for individuals and $2,542 for businesses. Outside of Winnipeg, local police services, First Nation police services and the RCMP will be directed to enforce these fines. Reports of non-compliance can be made to the Manitoba Government Inquiry Line at 204-945-3744 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information from the Manitoba Farm Safety Program
All FSP farm visits and training events have been postponed in response to COVID-19. Farmers are still invited to call or e-mail Morag Marjerison, KAP’s Farm Safety Consultant, with any questions or concerns they have about health and safety during this time, by phone at 204-570-3290 or via email at Morag.Marjerison@kap.ca. If you have any questions about health and safety on the farm that you feel would be valuable for Manitoba farmers to have the answers provided, please contact Thea Green, KAP’s Program Manager via email at Thea.Green@kap.ca. We will find the answers and share them back with KAP members.
University of Manitoba support for employers
The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is offering Manitoba farmers individualized support in posting a job for the 2020 growing season on the University of Manitoba Job Boards. Postings will reach students who are studying agriculture, environmental sciences, engineering and others; farmers may target students from specific disciplines. Positions must be paid and can be casual, part-time or full-time. Positions must start after April 27th 2020. Applications from students will be sent to farmers following their posting deadlines. Contact Kalynn Spain, Job Placement Coordinator for the Faculty, for further details: Kalynn.Spain@umanitoba.ca.
Manitoba student loans
Effective April 1, the Department of Economic Development and Training has suspended all repayments of loans under the Manitoba Student Aid Program through Sept. 30. The temporary stoppage of repayments parallels a similar suspension put in place by the federal government under the Canada Student Loan Program, also through Sept. 30. Manitoba Student Aid loan disbursements, including tuition and grant payments, will continue to be made to students as scheduled while repayments are suspended. During the deferral period, the program will accept payments from borrowers who choose to repay loans through cheque or electronic fund transfers
New details on TFW and SAWP programs
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program has a new frequently asked questions (FAQs) document available online. These FAQs provide new and updated guidance to employers regarding the payment of wages during the 14-day self isolation period. Click here to access that information. Click here for additional guidance regarding the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. For SAWP employers, this new guidance outlines that employers must pay their workers 30 hours a week for each of the two-weeks of mandatory self-isolation upon TFW arrival, which is a change from previous guidance. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, have outlined the Government of Canada’s expectations of employers seeking to bring in temporary foreign workers to Canada in an online letter. Click here to view the letter.
Canadian Emergency Response Benefit
We have received several questions about the Emergency Response Benefit, particularly as it applies to spouses who may be farm employees who can’t work due to the need for childcare. There are also questions if farm employees qualify even if you do not pay into EI. The eligibility criteria are as follows:
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, regardless of if you are eligible for Employment Insurance or not. The Benefit is available for the period from March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020.
Workers must reside in Canada, and be at least 15 years old;
Workers must have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job;
Workers must have had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
They are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income.
Click here for a full list of eligibility criteria and frequently asked questions. Click here for application requirements. To speak to someone from the Canadian Revenue Agency about your eligibility, call 1 (800) 959-8281.
Isolation centres are being established for those who may require some additional support as they self-isolate. The first centre has been set up in a Winnipeg hotel and will begin accepting individuals this weekend. This would be offered to individuals who may have been exposed or who are COVID positive and require a dedicated space where they can self-isolate. These centres will adhere to the public health guidelines and guests will be required to self-isolate in their rooms at all times. Isolation centres will use enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices. All social and physical distancing practices will be adhered to and centres will practice zero-contact services wherever possible.
Frequently asked questions about COVID-19
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has developed a frequently asked questions document for producers who have questions about the federal response to COVID-19. Click here to view the document.
Letter from Minister Pedersen
Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen has provided KAP with a letter to the agriculture industry that he has asked be shared with our members. Click here to view the letter.
Federal government list of essential services
Canada’s National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure defines critical infrastructure as the processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets, and services essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians and the effective functioning of government. The Strategy classifies critical infrastructure in Canada according to ten sectors:
Energy and Utilities
Information and Communication Technologies
Food (including Agriculture)
Public Safety Canada has developed a set of functions deemed essential in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to help provinces/territories, Indigenous communities, and municipalities protect their communities while maintaining the reliable operation of critical infrastructure services and functions to ensure the health, safety, and economic well-being of the population. These services and functions can also help the private sector self-identify as essential. Click here to view the entire list of essential services as provided by the federal government. To ensure the continued functioning of our integrated economies, this document is aligned and consistent with the United States Department of Homeland Security Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, which was issued on March 19, 2020
Child-care for workers in essential services
Beginning on Tuesday, April 14, all parents who work in critical services, as defined by the chief provincial public health officer, will be able to access child-care spaces available in licensed facilities. This includes support staff at hospitals and clinics, grocery store staff, farmers and farm workers, construction workers, bank or credit union employees. Parents working in these sectors who have been unable to make other child-care arrangements will be able to check which facilities have available spaces at www.manitoba.ca/covid19 and work directly with them to receive a spot.
Spring road restrictions
Under newly revised spring road restrictions, a vehicle may transport essential commodities at normal loading on highways that are subject to Level 1 road restrictions. Additionally, essential commodities may be transported at normal loading on roads subject to Level 2 restrictions, under conditions. Essential commodities include groceries, medical supplies, fuel, fertilizer, bulk milk, potable water for non-industrial use, emergency equipment and materials, and mail delivery on. It also includes livestock and livestock feed in transit, and hay for feed in transit within Manitoba. For the 2020 Spring Road Restrictions season, a permit is not required to transport grain to satisfy grain quotas or contracts, or to transport potatoes or vegetables from producer to processor, and these commodities are eligible for the normal loading. Click here to read the full announcement.
PPE drop-off locations
KAP is encouraging all producers with personal protective equipment that is not required for spring work to donate to the Manitoba health system. As Manitoba’s health system continues with preparations to ensure our province is prepared to meet the needs of our patients and to ensure appropriate protection from COVID-19 is available to health care workers, donations of the following supplies are now welcome and greatly appreciated. Supplies must be in original packaging, clean and in usable condition. Expired supplies are not able to be accepted. Drop-off locations exist across Manitoba in Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Selkirk, Winkler and Steinbach. Click here for detailed locations for drop-off and donation requirements.
Guidance for slaughter and processing facilities
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has published new guidance for both slaughter and processing facilities, including establishment requirements, procedures for operators, and mitigation efforts for COVID-19. Click here to read the full guidance
Guidance for employers of temporary foreign workers
A new guidance document has been made available for employers of temporary foreign workers. Click here to access this document.
The Manitoba government is establishing five highway checkpoints to provide information to travelers about required public health measures in place regarding COVID-19. Travelers will receive information about Manitoba’s current state of emergency, public health orders issued under The Public Health Act, and the need to immediately self-isolate for 14 days after travel in Canada or internationally. Checkpoints will be located on Hwy 1 at West Hawk Lake and on Hwy 1 west of Kirkella, PTH 16 west of Russell, PTH 5W west of Roblin and PTH 2 west of Reston/Souris. No traveler will be denied entry into Manitoba at these locations.
GST and duties deferral
The federal government has announced that small business owners and self-employed individuals can defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. Click here to access more information on this announcement.
Manitoba government call for assistance
The Manitoba government has put out a call to businesses and individuals for certain equipment and services. The full list is available online, but includes N95 respirators, surgical/procedure masks, nitrile and vinyl gloves, cleaning and disinfecting supplies, and a vast range of services. Producers are encouraged to protect themselves, but to donate excess supplies over and above what will be required for the farming season. Click here to access the full list and to complete the form to donate.
Manitoba Health Resources
If you are experiencing symptoms or you believe you have come into contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19, call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257. All screening locations require a referral from Health Links or a health care provider, they are not to be treated as walk-in clinics.
Mental Health Resources
Jobs in Agriculture
Given that many Canadians have been laid off from their jobs and that there is still some uncertainty as to how the federal government is working to bring seasonal workers into the country, we are encouraging employers in our sector to post jobs on three sites:
We will begin to promote these sites on social media in effort to reach out beyond our industry. Our hope is that we can match job seekers with employers as we approach the busy spring season.