The Manitoba government will not renew a provincewide state of emergency first declared March 20 of last year when it expires at 4 p.m. Oct. 21.
Interim Premier Kelvin Goertzen and Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler, who oversees the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization (EMO), said in a news release that the order is no longer required to help protect people from the impacts of COVID-19.
Public health orders remain in effect and can continue to be issued under the Public Health Act without a state of emergency.
“Nineteen months ago we declared a state of emergency to help protect the physical and financial health and safety of all Manitobans and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our hospitals and in our communities,” said Goertzen.“As we continue to move toward a post-pandemic Manitoba, we want to remind everyone, although the state of emergency is expiring, COVID-19 is still here. With vaccination rates among the highest in the country with over 82 per cent of eligible Manitobans fully vaccinated, we can help control COVID, but it’s important that all Manitobans continue to follow the fundamentals that help us limit our risks.”
While the state of emergency was in effect, the province could issue emergency orders that went beyond the scope of the Public Health Act, including directives restricting movement of staff between personal care homes. Amendments to the Public Health Act enabling the issue to be addressed that way make the emergency orders unnecessary.
Corporate meeting provisions were also temporarily suspended and reporting deadlines for government and government agencies extended. The state of emergency also enabled the government to provide relief related to youth exiting care under the Child and Family Services Act.
“Our government will continue to remain cautious and vigilant in efforts to stop the spread of the virus,” said Schuler. “Manitoba’s Emergency Measures Organization provincial response team will continue to work with industry partners and experts in supporting programs and services to assist in Manitoba’s COVID-19 response strategy.”
A new state of emergency can be declared by the province in the future if necessary.