June 17 COVID-19 Update
Provincial Travel Restrictions Loosen
Earlier today, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced Phase 3 of Restoring Safe Services, Manitoba’s Pandemic and Economic Roadmap for Recovery. You can view the full report, which includes changes across many industries, here.
By far the biggest change for many of our members is the loosening on inter-provincial travel restrictions. Starting on Sunday June 21, anyone entering Manitoba from designated western Canadian jurisdictions (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon, Northwest and Nunavut territories) or Northwestern Ontario (defined as west of Terrace Bay) is not required to self-isolate for 14 days if they are asymptomatic and have no known exposure to COVID-19. Anyone travelling to northern Manitoba must continue to respect any restrictions that have been put in place by local communities and First Nations.
This means our members are free to perform work in all provinces west of Manitoba, and in Northwest Ontario up to Terrace Bay. Prior to Phase 3, construction workers were restricted to performing work “close to the Manitoba border”. WCA had been asking for clarity on this, and we’re pleased to see the borders open up so our members can perform work in other provinces.
In addition to this, the phase 3 plan states “Consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to lifting self-isolation requirements where sectors propose and provide satisfactory plans to address public health requirements for necessary travel.” If you have a job east of Terrace Bay and believe you can perform the work safely, we encourage you to contact the provincial government to seek an exception to the self-isolation requirement.
CERB Extended By Eight Weeks
In other COVID-19 news this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday his government is extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit by eight weeks. Trudeau also hinted at potential changes to the program, which has been criticized for disincentivizing workers from returning to their jobs, but not details on changes are available at this time.