Let’s fight the virus, not each other

December 2 Canstar Herald article by Andrew Micklefield

In response to Covid19, Manitoba’s government is protecting the vulnerable and supporting the economy. In November we announced more than 60 initiatives, many in response to challenges presented by the virus. Here are some examples:

We are partnering with Red River College to rapidly train health care support workers for personal care homes. A one-week course is tuition-free for applicants committing to work for 3 months with existing PCH teams, helping with “resident observation, companionship, redirection, stocking of supplies and more.” 

Manitoba’s government is offering a $5000 Bridge Grant to businesses, charities and nonprofit organizations ordered to close. Eligibility is broad and organizations who have received other federal or provincial funding are welcome to apply.

A $10 million Pandemic Staffing Support Benefit is available to cover overtime costs, replacement staff or sick time for those serving disabled people, working in child care or child welfare. 

A $10 million provincial Remote Learning Support Centre is currently hiring over 100 teachers, 20 educational assistants, IT staff and clinicians to expand existing infrastructure to equip teachers and parents to deliver online education. 

This pandemic is disruptive for everyone, yet despite so much we cannot control, we can still choose to be gracious and treat others with kindness, including when we disagree. Everyone loses when conversation – the hallmark of our democracy – deteriorates into a shouting match in person or on social media. These uncertain times are not improved when healthcare workers are sworn at and fear and hysteria eclypse respect and civility. As we head into Christmas, let’s support local and pickup curbside or order online, let’s find things to be grateful for, let’s practice the fundamentals. We will get through this. Let’s fight the virus, not each other. 

For information about any of these programs or other needs, contact my office anytime.

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