Province Announces Summer Youth Job Opportunities

PROVINCE ANNOUNCES SUMMER YOUTH JOB OPPORTUNITIES


The Manitoba government is offering summer employment opportunities for students and youth, Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“The Manitoba government’s summer employment programming provides students with invaluable experience and skills to prepare them for the workforce,” said Goertzen.  “Job centres across the province are opening their doors for the season to offer services that benefit local employers and young Manitobans alike.”

Manitoba Youth Job Centres (MYJC) are located in 43 rural and northern communities.  The offices are situated in all 11 Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centres along with local municipal offices, chambers of commerce and other community-based organizations.

The centres match Manitobans age 12 to 29 with local employers for summer jobs and offer assistance with job searches, employment referrals, resumes and interviews, as well as other employment-related resources and events.  Each summer, they serve 8,000 to 11,000 youth and students.

MYJC will be open May 13 to Aug. 16.  The centres are staffed by post-secondary students who work for the Manitoba government through the STEP Services program.

The minister noted the STEP Services program employs about 1,400 students in government departments, Crown corporations and special operating agencies.  STEP students work for the Manitoba government as part-time, full-time or co-operative work placements that line up with their field of study.

This summer, STEP will also launch two new initiatives:

  • STEP Tuition Waiver Summer Student Program in partnership with nine Manitoba colleges and universities that provide bursaries to waive tuition for students formerly in care of Chid and Family Services.  The STEP Tuition Waiver Summer Employment Program offers eligible students receiving a tuition waiver paid work placements in the Manitoba government. The program supports education and training that benefits youth currently and formerly under the care of child welfare.
  • STEP Design Thinking Challenge, where teams of STEP students and their supervisors will work to solve modern public sector challenges.  Students will learn how to communicate innovative ideas to decision makers and will have the opportunity to present their team challenge solutions at the Institute for Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) national conference in Winnipeg.

For more information on MYJC and STEP Services, visit www.gov.mb.ca/cyo/youth/services/manitobayouthjobcentres.html and www.gov.mb.ca/cyo/studentjobs/index.html.

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Manitoba Government Making Progress to Facilitate Visits at Personal Care Homes

Province Awards Tender for Development of Outdoor, All-Season Visitation Shelters: Friesen and Helwer

September 15, 2020

The Manitoba government has awarded a construction tender to Manitoba-based PCL Constructors Canada Inc. for the development and construction of all-season shelters at personal care homes (PCH) to allow residents to safely visit with loved ones, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen and Central Services Minister Reg Helwer announced today.
 
“Our government recognized the suspension of visiting privileges at care homes due to COVID-19 put a tremendous strain on families,” said Friesen. “While we acted quickly to restore visits in the spring, it was clear that a more comprehensive strategy would be necessary to facilitate visits with the approaching influenza season and the potential for of a second wave of COVID-19.”
 
A total of $17.9 million is being invested in visitation shelters consisting of single-use shipping containers repurposed and fitted-out for a completely finished visiting facility. Each unit will have a visiting room with space for one resident and up to five visitors. Visitors will enter the visiting room from the outside of the personal care home, while an enclosed link will ensure residents have direct access from the personal care home. Electrical and mechanical systems have been designed to ensure each shelter is functional all year round. In keeping with public health guidelines, systems will be in place to provide required air changes and interior finishes will allow easy cleaning.   
 
“After a competitive procurement process and rigorous evaluation, we are very pleased with the results and PCL’s innovative design,” said Helwer. “We are working with PCL as a partner to help Manitobans safely visit loved ones in personal care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
 
All Canadians were devastated by the over 7,000 COVID-related deaths in long-term care facilities in Quebec and Ontario. Manitobans recently had a reminder of the risks of COVID in PCHs as cases were reported at certain facilities, Friesen said. Manitoba’s PCHs continue to have extensive precautions in place to protect vulnerable residents, including strict visitor restrictions, enhanced screening for staff and the implementation of a one-site staffing model at personal care homes, he added.
 
“While there was no choice but to close PCHs at the start of the pandemic, every effort is being made to maintain access between residents and loved ones,” said Friesen. “These all-season shelters will ensure these much-needed visits can continue uninterrupted, while keeping PCH residents and visitors safe.” 
 
Helwer noted the outdoor shelters are expected to be operational by November. In addition to the outdoor shelters, work continues to develop indoor visitation rooms at some sites where visitors can easily access the space from outside the personal care home and maintain the same public health requirements as the outdoor shelters. 
 
For more information on COVID-19 in Manitoba, including the most recent changes to the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19
 

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Provincial Measures to Save Manitoba Households $812 on Average in 2020

Measures in Budget 2020 and COVID-19 Response Result in Nearly $406 Million in Provincial Savings

Manitoba households are saving on average $812 this year because of measures taken by the provincial government in Budget 2020 and its COVID-19 response, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.
 
“Our government has been working hard since 2016 to make life more affordable for Manitobans and that remains our focus as we all face unprecedented financial pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pallister. “When the pandemic hit, we acted quickly to find ways to support the most vulnerable Manitobans.”
 
Budget 2020 tax measures, as well as COVID-19 measures tied directly to household savings, will result in estimated total savings of $405.9 million across Manitoba this year, the premier said. Manitoba’s estimated 500,000 households will see average savings of $812, he added.
 
The total includes Budget 2020 tax measures, indexation of the basic personal amount and the provincial income tax brackets, the reduction in the provincial sales tax (PST) rate to seven per cent from eight per cent as of July 1, 2019, and the accelerated removal of $75 million in PST on home and property insurance premiums as of July 1, 2020. It also factors in COVID-19 measures, such as the Seniors Economic Recovery Credit, Risk Recognition Program, Manitoba Public Insurance Rebates, Disability Economic Support Program and the Manitoba Bursary Programs. 
 
“Our focus is to provide Manitobans with better value for their hard-earned dollars and leave more money on everyone’s kitchen tables, especially as we continue to face the unknowns of this pandemic,” said Pallister. “Since 2016 we’ve made progress on decreasing the amount of taxes Manitobans pay and saving Manitobans more money each year.”
 
Pallister said since 2016, provincial government measures have brought a cumulative total of $659.4 million in household savings, which results in an average savings of $1,319 per household.
 
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Green Team Funding Helps Group – Herald article for September 9, 2020

Area community clubs, churches and charities benefited from over $200,000 of Green Team grants this summer.

Grants offering full wage subsidies for students aged 15 to 29 helped community organizations run children’s programs, maintain and improve facilities, offer COVID-related supports and develop leadership skills in the youth they hired.

The Kurdish Initiative for Refugees runs daily programs for newcomer youth, who enjoyed (COVID-careful) fun and cultural programs.

Green Team students hired by Covenant Reformed Church tended the five-acre site, maintaining a ball diamond and green space used by the community.

At North Kildonan Mennonite Church on Roch Street, Green Team students tidied the grounds and planted gardens, growing food for community members and Winnipeg Harvest.

At Jubilee Mennonite Church (Springfield and Edelweiss), Green Team students supervised and watered a multi-plot community garden for neighbourhood families to grow vegetables, herbs and even chickpeas for their home kitchens.

Living Word helped Indigenous youth plant gardens and cultivate an acreage and develop a firewood program north of the Perimeter Highway.

It is often the big grants and funding announcements that make the news cycles — like recent announcements of $127 million for the North End Sewage Plant or $100 million for school safety — but smaller community grants can have real impact in neighbourhoods. As a student in the 1990s I benefited from several Green Team summer jobs; it’s good to see Manitoba’s government continue to take that legacy forward with solid investments into our local neighbourhoods this summer.

If you would like your organization to receive information about upcoming grant programs, contact my office 204-289-4545 or email me andrew.micklefield@leg.gov.mb.ca

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Free Provincial Park Entry for Labour Day Weekend

September 3, 2020

FREE PROVINCIAL PARK ENTRY FOR LABOUR DAY WEEKEND

The Manitoba government will once again offer free entry to provincial parks to mark the Labour Day long weekend, Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.
 
“Free park entry weekends provide a wonderful opportunity for all Manitobans to make a trip into one of our beautiful provincial parks and take a moment to enjoy nature,” said Guillemard. “These days, when we are all staying a little closer to home, it’s great to explore Manitoba and see all that our provincial parks have to offer.”
 
Park vehicle permits will not be required in provincial parks starting tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 4 through Monday, Sept. 7. Regular camping fees will continue to apply. When visiting parks, remember to practise physical distancing and wash or sanitize hands frequently to protect yourself from COVID-19. While a travel restriction to areas of northern Manitoba takes effect tomorrow, there are exceptions for travelling directly to a campground or lodge. If you are travelling to the north, limit any stops to just the necessities outside of your camping destination. 
 
Other reminders when visiting parks include:
• Practise ‘Leave No Trace’ – always pack out everything you packed in.
• Keep dogs on leashes and clean up after pets.
• Avoid busy trails and beaches. If a trailhead parking lot is full, do not park along roadways. Visit another trail to minimize impacts to the landscape.
• Be ‘Wildlife Smart’ by staying alert and securing attractants such as food, toiletries and trash. For more information on staying safe in black bear country, visit www.manitoba.ca/blackbear.
 
Park interpreters have developed a range of free virtual interpretive programs for schools. Teachers and their students are encouraged to connect virtually with a park interpreter for engaging, curriculum-based learning sessions on Manitoba’s natural features and cultural history in parks. For details on interpretive programming, visit www.manitobaparks.com or email ParkInterpretation@gov.mb.ca.
 
Several provincial park campgrounds, cabins and yurts remain open through the fall, allowing campers to stay as late as Thanksgiving. To make a reservation or see the full list of campgrounds open in the fall and their operating dates, call the Parks Reservation Service at 1-888-482-2267 (toll-free)  or visit www.manitobaparks.com
 
Manitobans are also reminded to stop the spread of invasive species to help protect provincial parks.  Firewood cannot be moved out of the city of Winnipeg due to the presence of the emerald ash borer and the designation of Winnipeg as a federally regulated area. Anyone caught transporting firewood could face fines or charges. Firewood should always be obtained and burned locally.
 
The spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species (AIS) is preventable. All surface water-users such as boaters, fishers, beach-goers and floatplane operators are reminded to do their part when entering and leaving all water bodies. Specific decontamination and bait requirements are in place within AIS control zones. The AIS open-water season checklist is a step-by-step resource that can help surface water-users comply with the Manitoba government’s AIS regulation.
 
Watercraft inspection stations will operate into the middle of the fall. It is a legal requirement for all watercraft, including canoes, kayaks and jet skis, to stop at watercraft inspection stations when they are open. AIS requirements and set fines for offences are in effect year-round.
 
For more information on invasive species, including the decontamination station schedule for AIS, visit www.manitoba.ca/StopAIS.
 
Anyone planning a back-country trip is reminded that campfires should be made only in designated fire pits. Campers heading into remote areas should tell someone else where they are going and when they expect to return. 
 
Manitobans can stay up to date with provincial park news, activities and events by following the Twitter channel www.twitter.com/MBGovParks or Facebook page www.facebook.com/MBGovParks.

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Province Provides Restoring Safe Schools Information Package For Students, Parents and Educators

September 2, 2020 – link to external source (YouTube content below)

The Manitoba government has prepared a number of informational materials for students, parents and teachers as they prepare for a safe and informed return to the classroom, Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.
“We have developed a Restoring Safe Schools information package to help address the most frequently asked questions and areas of concerns, and grouped the answers for easy access,” said Goertzen. “We commend teachers and staff who are returning to schools this week to make schools and classrooms as COVID-19 safe as possible for students returning on Sept. 8.”
The province has prepared information with a focus on the fundamentals of learning and working around COVID-19 including:
• Parent Guide – providing what parents and guardians can expect when school resumes;
• Mask Use Guide – providing information on the use of masks in school and on buses, when you put them on, what happens when they are soiled and other tips;
• Easy Reference for Parents to the Pandemic Response Notification System – providing parents with a simple understanding of how changes in their school’s COVID response level will effect their day-to-day school routines;
• COVID-19 Screening Questions – a tool for parents and schools to screen for signs and symptoms; and
• COVID-19 in Schools and Early Learning and Child Care Centres – providing guidance on cases of COVID-19 in schools and child-care centres.
The materials will be online at www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/covid/index.html and printed versions will be available for distribution where appropriate. Information will be updated as required throughout the school year.
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Manitoba Invests $3.5 Million in New Addictions Supports for HSC Winnipeg’s Emergency Department

Additional Staff, New Observation Beds Will Provide Specialized and Timely Care to Patients: Friesen

A new unit and additional addictions, mental health and security staff will be added to the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Winnipeg emergency department (ED), to improve outcomes for patients in various stages of intoxication, withdrawal or mental health crisis, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.
 
“The high volume of patients needing addictions and mental health supports continues to put pressure on services and our communities,” said Friesen. “By investing in additional clinical staff specializing in substance use, addictions and mental health within HSC’s emergency department, we will improve patient care and emergency wait times for these patients. This fulfils our government’s commitment to provide a safer environment for patients and those working in or visiting the hospital.”
 
The $3.5-million investment at Manitoba’s provincial hospital will add staff trained in addictions and mental health care to the facility’s emergency department. An on-site addiction physician or psychiatrist for weekend and evening shifts, approximately 8.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) mental health nursing (ED and inpatient units) positions and 8.4 FTE security staff positions will be added as part of the investment. The additions will reduce wait times by six per cent.
 
Together, these new resources will help decrease offload times for police dropping off patients in the ED who are suffering from acute drug or alcohol intoxication including those suffering from methamphetamine-induced psychosis. 
 
“Speeding up offload times will allow police officers to more quickly return to patrolling city streets and ensuring they are safe for all Winnipeggers,” said Justice Minister Cliff Cullen. “This investment reflects our government’s efforts to public safety and improving mental health and addictions services in Winnipeg and across the province, particularly for those suffering from meth-associated psychosis.”
 
The new unit will include six additional beds and two safe seclusion rooms used to stabilize patients with severe alcohol or drug intoxication, as well as meth-associated psychosis. It will also include addiction outreach workers hired to support those discharged from the unit, Friesen added.
 
“Over the last four years, the presence of meth-associated psychosis in our community has resulted in a steadily increasing number of patients arriving at hospital in need of a short period of stabilization,” said Dr. Jitender Sareen, provincial specialty lead for mental health and addiction, Shared Health. “The unique needs of this population requires a multidisciplinary team with a high level of expertise to ensure the safety of patients, staff and the community. The funding will be essential to improving wait times for assessments, reducing the length of stay of intoxicated and mental health patients in emergency and ensuring they get timely access to community resources.”
 
“These addiction and mental health resources will enable us to improve the level of care that patients struggling with addictions receive upon arrival at HSC Winnipeg’s emergency department,” said Dr. John Sokal, medical director, HSC Winnipeg’s emergency department. “This is an important first step toward the creation of a Safe Emergency Psychiatry and Addictions Unit as part of the HSC Adult ED.”
 
Friesen noted today’s announcement addresses recommendations in both the VIRGO and Illicit Drug Task Force reports. It also builds on other government investments to better the needs of Manitobans living with substance and mental health concerns. 
 
Over $40 million has been invested in new or expanded mental health and addictions services or programs since last fall, Friesen said.
 
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Provincial Investments Support Choice in Child Care for Manitoban Families

August 26, 2020

Manitoba Invests $22 Million in New Grant Programs
and Expanded Tax Credit: Stefanson

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, Families Minister Heather Stefanson announced today.

“Child care is critical to Manitoba’s economic recovery and growth, and we are ensuring that Manitoba families have access to quality child care that meets their needs during this unprecedented time,” said Stefanson. “We are investing millions of dollars to ensure that parents have access to child care when they need it the most – so they know their children are safely cared for as they return to work and adjust to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As part of Manitoba’s plan to expand choice in child care, the province is investing up to $8.5 million in new programs to create child care services for hundreds of children, meet the needs of under-served families – particularly those working non-standard hours – and support the longer-term sustainability of child care providers. These programs will be delivered in partnership with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, and include:

• up to $4 million for workplaces to offer on-site child care services for their employees, expected to create up to 800 new spaces through a $5,000-per-space start-up grant;

• up to $1.5 million in grants to home-based child care providers, to enhance their child care spaces, support financial stability and help ensure new spaces, to a maximum of $50,000 per provider;

• up to $2 million for licensed child care providers to establish satellite locations, which will help support their ongoing operations and physical distancing requirements as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response;

• up to $750,000 for community organizations to develop more diverse child care options to meet the needs of their families, which could reflect different cultures, languages and accessibility needs; and

• up to $250,000 to help ensure child care providers participating in these programs can find and retain families to fill available spaces, through a comprehensive marketing plan.

“As Manitoba businesses continue to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, these new programs and investments in child care are critical to a growing economy,” said Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, which represents 71 local chambers of commerce in the province and close to 10,000 businesses.

“The removal of obstacles to Manitobans returning to the workplace is a critical piece in re-opening the economy,” said Loren Remillard, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. “The Winnipeg Chamber is pleased to be a program partner, offering valuable business advisory services to a broader array of applicants, which will contribute to both expanded child care offerings and peace of mind for Manitoba families.”

More information on the new grant programs is available at www.manitoba.ca/childcare. Applications will be posted and begin being accepted on Sept. 1.

“The grant program and the chambers of commerce supported me so that I can provide child care during this unprecedented time,” said Rupinder Singh, home child care provider. “This allowed essential worker families to have access to child care. I also thank the chambers for weekly mentorship sessions, and for being available if I needed advice.”

The province is also following through on a commitment set out in Budget 2020 by allocating an additional $9.5 million into the new Child Care Sustainability Trust, which will launch in March 2021. The trust will support a variety of innovative projects at child care facilities including programming and infrastructure improvements, equipment, and professional development and learning opportunities for staff, with the goal of enhancing inclusive and accessible services.

In addition, the province is committing $4.7 million in new funding to expand the Child Care Centre Development Tax Credit, in order to support the creation of employer-based child care centres for up to 682 children.  This is in addition to the over $2-million investment made when the tax credit launched in 2018. Since that time, support has been allocated to four businesses in Winnipeg, Selkirk and Altona to establish child care centres for 260 children.

For more information on the Child Care Centre Development Tax Credit, established as part of Budget 2018, visit www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childcare/resources/centre_dev_tax_credit.html.

The province first announced $18 million for a temporary child care services grant as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response so licensed child care providers who were unable to work at their regular child care facilities could provide care in home-based settings. To date, 20 child care providers have accessed the grant and created more than 130 spaces to meet the needs of parents and caregivers.

As Manitoba families return to work and school, they can continue to access child care services using Manitoba’s web portal at eswchildcare.ca to find vacancies and contact providers directly.

The child care system established to respond to the pandemic has so far resulted in over 900 child care facilities re-opening across the province, offering more than 21,000 spaces. The minister noted the supply of child care has now exceeded demand as the province re-opens.

As part of the recently launched #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, the Manitoba government has provided additional information and guidance for families and child care providers on COVID-19. To learn more about the system and access more detailed information on child care, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19/restartmb/prs

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Manitoba Government Enhances Back to Work Wage Subsidy Program

August 26, 2020

$100,000 in Financial Support Available for Businesses to Get More Manitobans

The Manitoba government is enhancing its Back to Work program to support more Manitoba businesses in bringing back their employees to increase their operations and the services provided throughout the province, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“The Back to Work Manitoba Initiative is a key component as we continue to reopen our communities and safely restart our recovery,” said Pallister. “Nearly 40,000 Manitobans are looking to get back to work and back up on their feet. To meet additional demand and support employers to hire and bring back more staff, we are doubling the number of employees eligible for a wage subsidy.”

As part of #RestartMB, Manitoba’s roadmap to recovery, the Back to Work Manitoba Initiative supports the province’s economic recovery by encouraging private sector or non-profit employers to bring back laid-off employees or make new hires. The program will reimburse 50 per cent of wage costs (up to $5,000) per employee hired or re-hired between July 16 and Oct. 31, 2020.

The enhanced 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.

“As we learn to live with COVID-19, our government continues to look for safe opportunities to get Manitobans back to work,” said Pallister. “Many businesses are adapting and finding ways to operate safely and offer services that Manitobans rely on, and we want to support them as they rebuild to pre-pandemic staffing levels.”

The premier noted the Back to Work Manitoba Initiative has received applications from 445 employers for 2,429 employees and over $12 million in financial supports, as of Aug. 25. Nearly 40 per cent of employers accessing wage subsidies have applied for the maximum ten employees. In the restaurant and hospitality industry, almost two-thirds of applicants have maximized their subsidy for 10 hires.

The program is open to applicants of the Summer Student Recovery Jobs program and Back to Work This Summer Program to make any additional hires. However, positions already receiving funding through other federal or provincial government programs are ineligible.

The application deadline is Oct. 1. Employers will be required to provide proof of payment of wages by Jan. 4, 2021. Program details and the application form are available online at http://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restartmb/mbtwp.html.

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Online Provincial Pandemic Response System Launched to Inform, Guide Manitobans on COVID-19

August 19, 2020 – BACKGROUND INFORMATION
New Public Health Preparedness Tool Will Keep Manitobans Safe: Premier

The Manitoba government has launched the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, a new public health online tool that connects Manitobans with clear, timely, and more detailed and localized information about the current risk of COVID-19 and the specific measures being taken to reduce its spread, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“Keeping Manitobans safe is our government’s top priority in these uncertain times,” said Pallister. “Equipping Manitobans with the information they need to stay safe while restarting our economy will help ensure we are better prepared to navigate through the COVID challenges ahead. That is what our new Pandemic Response System is designed to do.”

This new online tools allows public health officials to apply and effectively communicate with Manitobans specific changes and related pandemic containment measures by localized site, region or sector as needed. This will allow targeted measures focused on containing any outbreaks, instead of applying provincewide restrictions. This ensures public health remains a top priority while minimizing impacts on the economy and services for Manitobans.

The #RestartMB Pandemic Response System, the first of its kind in Canada, is based on a series of COVID-19 indicators monitored by public health officials to give Manitobans a clear and detailed picture of the situation throughout the province at all times. Those COVID-19 indicators include health system capacity, public health capacity, risk of outbreaks in vulnerable settings and risk of importation of cases.

The four colour-coded response levels are:
• (red) critical – community spread of COVID-19 is not contained and/or there are significant strains on the health-care system;
• (orange) restricted – community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring, public health measures are being taken to manage the negative impact on human health and/or the health system;
• (yellow) caution – community transmission of COVID-19 is at low levels; and
• (green) limited risk – the spread of COVID-19 is broadly contained and a vaccine and/or effective treatment is available.

The system launched with a provincewide level of ‘caution’, meaning COVID-19 is still a threat across Manitoba, but community transmission levels are low. There are multiple and isolated clusters of cases which are mostly contained. For more information on the COVID-19 indicators and the four response levels, visit https://manitoba.ca/covid19/prs/system.html.

“We must learn to live with this virus, and be prepared to both respond and adapt to changes in the transmission risks COVID-19 presents,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer. “The Pandemic Response System is a key preparedness tool setting out what Manitobans must do, at each response level, to help reduce risks and minimize the spread of this virus.”

The site outlines steps Manitobans should be taking at each response level, as well as public health orders and guidance for businesses, service providers and other sectors.

At all response levels, Manitobans should continue to follow the public health fundamentals. Those include:
• always stay home when sick, even if mildly ill;
• enhanced hand hygiene;
• maintain physical distancing; and
• wear masks in public indoor settings where physical distancing is not possible.

The #Restart Pandemic Response System supports the Manitoba government’s roadmap to recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit http://www.manitoba.ca/restartMB.

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Province Renews Funding to Help Ensure Safe and Caring Learning Environments

Up to $100,000 Will Renew and Extend Respect in School Program: Goertzen
August 6, 2020

The Manitoba government will provide up to $100,000 to renew and extend a funding agreement for 2020-21 for the Respect in School (RIS) program, which offers online curriculum training at no cost to adults working with students in public, funded independent, non-funded independent and First Nations schools, Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“With the resumption of in-class learning in Manitoba this fall, students will require emotionally, psychologically and physically supportive school environments to help address anxiety and distress they may have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Goertzen. “We are pleased to extend funding for the RIS program that complements many other resources available to schools for the promotion of supportive learning for all students.”

Research has shown anxiety and distress can interfere with a student’s ability to learn and interact with peers and teachers in positive ways. Without appropriate interventions, this anxiety and distress can also affect a student’s short-term and long-term mental health.

RIS is an evidence-based program for adults interacting with students in a school environment. Created by Respect Group Inc., the program helps to heighten adults’ awareness of the distress and harm that students might experience from a variety of sources, and equips them with knowledge and skills to make timely and appropriate interventions.

“The pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on Manitobans of all ages,” said Goertzen. “The renewal of the Respect in School program is one more way we are enhancing the classroom experience for students.”

In addition to the renewal, the government is extending the funding for RIS to the early learning and child-care sector for Manitoba educators and assistants working at licensed centres and homes. Early childhood educators are uniquely positioned to keep children safe, and they will now have access to an additional resource that helps support and protect children.

“It is critical for adults in the education and child-care systems to be aware of and understand the distress that children and youth can be subjected to on a daily basis, and for them to be able and prepared to intervene as early as possible and help whenever necessary,” said Sheldon Kennedy, co-founder of Respect Group Inc. “I am pleased to see the Manitoba government take another step with this program for the benefit of young people across the province.”

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