Manitoba politicians return to legislature for COVID-19 emergency session

By | April 15, 2020

WINNIPEG — Some Manitoba MLAs will be returning to work on Wednesday to pass emergency legislation to assist Manitobans struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Manitoba legislature has been recalled for an emergency sitting Wednesday morning to allow for “expedited passage of several existing bills” aimed at addressing the growing impact of the pandemic. The session begins at 10 a.m.

“Our government is enacting the necessary measures to protect our most valuable service – the front line of our health-care system – and Manitoba’s most vulnerable as we fight this global pandemic together,” said Premier Brian Pallister in a statement. “This isn’t about partisanship; this is about doing the right thing to ensure our resources are there where they are needed, when they are needed most.”

The province said the main priority is to update the province’s borrowing and spending authority to ensure they’re able to meet unexpected expenses due to declining revenues.

READ MORE: Manitoba’s rainy day fund could be gone in three months or less: Pallister

All parties have agreed to limit attendance to one-third of the 57 members of the Legislative Assembly to ensure compliance with physical distancing measures. MLAs will not be seated at their normal desks, but will be spread throughout the chamber.

The public galley will be closed, but the proceedings can be watched online here.

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