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COVID-19: A roundup of economic relief measures for Manitoba

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Manitoba government and its partners have announced a number of emergency measures to support residents affected by the pandemic. Below is a roundup. We will update this as things change or new measures are added.

Please see the federal COVID-19 support program measures here.

Updated: July 13, 2020

Expanded provincial wage subsidy

What is it?

The provincial government announced a "back to work this summer" plan, which is essentially an expansion of their summer student subsidy to support the return or recruitment of employees of any age to the workplace. Both returning laid off employees and new hires qualify. Employers can receive a wage subsidy to support the hiring of up to five employees. The subsidy will cover 50% of wages until August 30, up to a maximum of $5,000 per employee or $25,000 per business.

When is it in effect?

  • Between June 1 and August 30, 2020.

New virtual-care tariffs for fee-for-service physicians

What is it?

All tariffs will remain available during the pandemic response until Manitoba Health communicates they are no longer available.

If you have questions about virtual care and the new tariffs, contact covid19@doctorsmanitoba.ca.

Most recent update:

  • May 4, 2020

Doctors Manitoba insurance coverage

What is it?

  • Doctors Manitoba insurance benefits can provide some income relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who’s eligible?

  • Physicians with disability or office overhead insurance who become sick with COVID-19 and suffer loss of income
  • Also, physicians in self-quarantine — whether they are symptomatic or not — can make a disability claim.
  • Claims will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to all the terms and conditions of your policy, including the waiting period.

How to apply?

Manitoba GAP Protection Program (MGPP)

What is it?

  • Provides a one-time $6,000 non-interest bearing forgivable loan.
  • The loan is forgiven on December 31, 2020 if recipients declare at that time that they have not received any non-repayable COVID-19 federal supports greater than $6,000.
  • Otherwise, the loan will be due in full to the Manitoba government by March 31, 2021.

Who’s eligible?

  • Small and medium-sized businesses that have experienced hardships in Manitoba as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public-health orders. See full criteria.

How to apply

  • Apply online by July 31, 2020.

Child care — workers in essential services

 

What is it?

  • Government initiatives to facilitate child care for parents who are front-line workers in essential services (see list below) during the COVID-19 response.
  • The initiatives include:
    • first priority to healthcare and other essential service workers at licensed child care centres
    • a new online request process to connect essential workers with available child care providers

Who’s eligible?

  • Essential service providers prioritized include: healthcare providers, emergency service providers, corrections workers, law enforcement workers, fire and paramedic workers, and direct social services and child protection workers.

When is it in effect?

  • March 27, 2020.

How to apply

Child care — workers in critical services

What is it?

  • Access to child care at licensed facilities during the COVID-19 outbreak has been expanded to include all parents who work in critical services as defined by the chief provincial public health officer (see list below).

Who's eligible?

  • Critical service workers include support staff at hospitals and clinics, grocery store staff, farmers and farm workers, construction workers, and bank and credit union employees.

When is it in effect?

  • April 14, 2020.

How to apply

  • Information will become available here. You can also call 204 945-0776, 1 888 213-4754 or email cdcinfo@gov.mb.ca.

Layoff rules eased for employers

What is it?

  • A temporary exception to employment standards regulations around lay-off periods. During the pandemic, this will allow employers more flexibility to recall laid-off employees once work picks up again.

When is it in effect?

  • Any period of layoff after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the layoff limit, after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination, requiring employers to provide pay in lieu of notice.

WCB premiums relief for employers

What is it?

  • The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba is deferring premium payments and extending the payroll reporting deadline until the end of May. Late payment penalties will be waived until further notice.

When is it in effect?

  • April 3, 2020.

Payroll-tax cut for businesses

What is it?

  • Increases to the thresholds at which payroll-tax rates are assessed.
    • Employers with an annual payroll of $1.5 million or less will be exempt (up from the current $1.25 million exemption threshold)
    • Employers with an annual payroll between $1.5 million and $3 million will pay 4.3% on the amount within this range (up from the current range of $1.25 million to $2.5 million)
    • Employers with an annual payroll above $3 million will pay 2.15% of the total payroll (up from the current $2.5 million threshold)
    • The province will also change the brackets for other businesses subject to the payroll tax.

When is it in effect?

  • January 1, 2021.

Extended deadlines for retail sales tax and payroll tax

What is it?

  • Deadlines to remit retail sales taxes and the payroll tax are extended for April and May. Small and medium-size business will have up to two extra months.

Who’s eligible?

  • Small and medium-size businesses with monthly remittances of $10,000 or less. The finance department will offer flexible repayment options to businesses above the $10,000 cap.

When is it in effect?

  • March 22, 2020.

Corporate income tax — payment date extended

 

What is it?

  • The payment date for the current tax year has been extended to September 1, 2020. In other words, any income tax balances and instalment payments that become owing from March 19 through August 31 will be due September 1.
  • There is no change to deadlines for filing corporate income tax returns.

When is it in effect?

  • April 3, 2020.

Property tax and business tax relief — Winnipeg

 

What is it?

  • The city of Winnipeg is waiving penalties for unpaid property and business taxes for three months beyond their due date. This includes non-sufficient fund (NSF) charges for those on the instalment plan.
  • The city is also waiving the enrolment fee for the instalment plan (see Tax Instalment Payment Plan), which allows property and business owners to make regular monthly payments and avoid having to pay your entire tax bill at once.

When is it in effect?

  • No penalties on property taxes (due June 30) until September 30, 2020.
  • No penalties on business taxes (due on May 29) until August 31, 2020.

Relief on property insurance

 

What is it?

  • There will be no PST charged on annual property insurance for on residences and businesses.

When is it in effect?

  • July 1, 2020

Utility and auto insurance relief

What is it?

When is it in effect?

  • April 3 to October 1, 2020.

Freeze on rent increases and evictions

What is it?

  • A freeze on all rent increases.
  • A postponement of eviction hearings, unless there is a risk to the health and safety of other tenants.

When is it in effect?

  • The rent freeze affects any increases scheduled for April 1 or later
  • Eviction hearings are postponed as of March 24 and until May 31 or until further notice

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If you have any questions about these measures, please contact your MD Advisor*. 

* MD Advisor refers to an MD Management Limited Financial Consultant or Investment Advisor (in Quebec), or an MD Private Investment Counsel Portfolio Manager.

Banking and credit products and services are offered by The Bank of Nova Scotia “Scotiabank.” Credit and lending products are subject to credit approval by Scotiabank.