Pallister told a press conference that tougher rules were needed to stem the rising tide of COVID-19 cases, but hopes they are only needed for a few weeks. “They are necessary so that we can make sure that we do not allow ourselves to place an additional burden on our health care system that we cannot bear,” he said.
“To be on the safe side, later in the day, [Chief Provincial Public Health Officer] Dr. [Brent] Roussin will announce additional restrictions that will take effect immediately. ”
Roussin’s press conference is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.
Doubling of fines
Pallister also targeted those who rejected Manitoba’s COVID-19 public health orders on Friday.
After berating people who refuse to play by the rules – and those who oppose public health officials – he announced a doubling of fines for repeat offenders.
This means that individuals can face fines of $ 2,592 for various offenses, while fines for businesses could climb to $ 10,000.
And those who repeatedly refuse to wear masks in public can receive $ 596.
“The vast majority of Manitobans follow the fundamentals, they follow the rules. Thank you for doing it and keep doing it, ”said Mr. Pallister.
“But there is a small, selfish minority of people who are not doing their part. And in doing so, they put their health and that of others at risk. “
Pallister also announced a doubling of default payment fees for those who fail to pay fines on time.
According to recent data, about 90% of the money from fines related to the pandemic in Manitoba has yet to be paid.
Pallister promised this would be taken care of through strict measures.
“I tell these people that you will pay your fine. And if you don’t, you won’t be driving your car. We will not issue you a driver’s license. You can put your car on blocks and you can go there until you pay your fine, ”he said.
“And if you don’t drive, we’ll top up your paycheck.” You will pay.
“It is important that you understand this clearly. Your behavior is a danger to you, but it is above all a danger to others.
He then urged people to keep the rules in mind this Mother’s Day weekend. This does not include any visit to anyone at their private residence.
“Give your mother flowers, not COVID,” he says.
COVID-19 sick leave
Pallister also announced a new pandemic sick leave benefit to close the gap between federal assistance and current provincial programs.
Employers will receive $ 600 per employee to cover up to five full days of sick leave related to COVID-19, he said at the press conference on Friday morning. Sick days should not be taken consecutively.
Sick leave can be taken for COVID-19 screening, vaccination appointments, vaccination side effects, self-isolation after a positive test, or caring for a loved one in the hospital. one of those circumstances.
Many Canadian provinces have faced growing calls to offer paid leave to people who show COVID-like symptoms but have not tested positive.
Doctors and nurses, public health officials, mayors, unions, economists and professional organizations have all expressed support for a leave to ensure workers stay home if they are sick and to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Across Canada, only about 42 percent of employed adults have access to paid sick leave days, according to the Manitoba Federation of Labor.
The Yukon created a paid sick leave program to fight the pandemic over a year ago, and the idea is being explored in British Columbia.
This week, under pressure to control workplace transmission in COVID-19 hotspots in and around Toronto, Ontario announced it would fund a temporary paid vacation program to cover three sick days.
So far, Pallister has repeatedly called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to develop a national agenda.
Asked by reporters on Friday that his delay in instituting sick leave contributed to the third wave of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, Pallister again accused the federal government of failing to provide a best program.