The Pas Local News

PROVINCE INVESTS IN MANITOBA JOB RESTART PROGRAM

The Manitoba government is introducing the Manitoba Job Restart program, which will provide direct payments to a maximum of $2,000 to help qualified Manitobans return to work, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“The Manitoba Job Restart program could help bring tens of thousands of Manitobans back to work safely and help our economy recover,” said Pallister. “The federal government is currently subsidizing the wages of more than eight million workers in Canada through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). While these programs have helped Canadians through financial challenges caused by the pandemic, CERB has become a barrier preventing some from returning to work.”

The premier noted Manitoba’s program will provide one initial payment of $500 plus three additional bi-weekly payments for $500 each, for a total of $2,000 over six weeks. Program participants must voluntarily stop collecting CERB or CESB support from the federal government.

The province will fully finance the program, which does not require any contributions from employers in order for workers to qualify.

“The best thing we can do to speed Canada’s economic recovery is to find safe ways to get people back to work,” said Dan Kelly, president and chief executive officer, Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “The Manitoba Job Restart program will help encourage more employees to return to their pre-COVID jobs, assisting both workers and small businesses along the way. CFIB encourages other provinces and the federal government to consider this and other ways to quickly transition workers from CERB back to paid employment.”

To remain in the program, approved applicants must:
•    actively return to work in Manitoba to a job with at least 30 hours per week in order to be eligible for the first $500 payment;
•    complete a simple declaration for each of the following two weeks certifying that they are still working at least 30 hours per week in order to receive the next three $500 payments;
•    no longer receive CERB, CESB or similar COVID-19 related support from the federal government;
•    follow Manitoba’s COVID-19 health guidelines in the workplace; and
•    continue residing permanently in Manitoba and be legally entitled to work in Canada.

The Manitoba Job Restart program will accept applications until July 31. This is a voluntary-participation program, and there is no obligation for Manitobans to stop receiving CERB or CESB benefits if they choose not to participate. The amounts received will be a taxable benefit. The funding of the Manitoba Job Restart program will be absorbed from the remaining unspent balances in the $240-million Manitoba Gap Protection Plan and Manitoba Summer Student Recovery Jobs Program, although further funding will be made available if there is significant uptake, the premier noted.

Manitobans can learn more about the program details today at:
https://manitoba.ca/covid19/infomanitobans/mjrp.html.

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