As the pandemic continues, so does the stress, anxiety, and financial hardship for many people. Manitobans have been following the rules, including small business owners who were told to remain closed to limit the spread of COVID-19. People have made a real commitment to keeping each other safe and we need a government that matches that commitment.
Unfortunately, the Pallister government continues to show that they aren’t matching Manitobans commitment. It's still unclear whether there is anyone from the north on the Vaccine Implementation Task Force and it shows. This government has not consulted with Northern Manitobans, leading to decisions that make no sense such as their proposed vaccination site at the Thompson airport. Many of our northern communities are a long way away from the vaccine supersites and getting there can be a challenge due to a lack of transportation, time constraints and cost. The government’s plan to vaccinate the north should therefore be more focused on bringing the vaccines to people, not the other way around.
As they asked businesses to remain closed and for people to stay home, the PCs didn’t provide the supports that businesses needed. The Bridge Grant barely gave businesses the desperate support they need and after extending restrictions longer there was no more money committed. Additionally, at the government’s directive, the Community Economic Development Fund has not been able to loan businesses money since 2017. In recent years the north has lost a lot of jobs as Vale and other companies have laid people off. The worry is that without supports for our economy, many of these skilled workers will leave the north altogether – leaving us with a concerning skill gap. The Pallister government needs to step up for Northern Manitoba and our economy.
Unlike the PCs, we want to hear from Northern Manitobans, to get their input on what can be done. That’s why on we will be hosting a virtual town hall on the topic of small business. We will be sharing what the NDP and I would have done differently and want to hear what supports you think Northern Manitoba needs from the government as well.
If you’d like the link for the townhall, please email email@example.com.
I hope to see you all at the virtual town hall. Feel free to contact me with any concerns at Danielle.Adams@yourmanitoba.ca or by calling the office at 204-677-2744.