WINNIPEG -- Premier Brian Pallister announced a significant investment to assist homeowners and businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During a news conference Friday morning at the Manitoba Legislative Building, Pallister announced more than $100 million to speed up the procurement of medical supplies and equipment, hotel capacity and other critical needs to address the pandemic.

“This pandemic will place extra strain on our healthcare system, we are already seeing that,” Pallister said. “This is why we are doing everything we can to increase resources for our front line providers to secure the medical supplies and protections they need to care for Manitobans.”

The COVID-19 procurement fund will allow businesses to “tool up” their operations and workforces to make essential medical supplies and equipment, Pallister said. The equipment includes masks, face shields, and gowns.

Pallister adds the province is issuing a request for proposal for a potential low-acuity hospital in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Thompson.

“We’re hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst,” he said.

Businesses that are able to scale up their production for the items, or have a supply of items available already, are asked to visit the government’s website


The Manitoba government said its Help Next Door initiative has seen a significant response in the days since it has launched.

The initiative, which connects Manitobans to volunteer services to assist during COVID-19, recorded nearly 5,800 registered users as of Friday morning.

The service has people in 163 cities in towns in the province participating, along with over 225 healp requests and 185 requests matched.

-With files from CTV's Rachel CrowSpreadingwings