WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba government announced it’s investing $45 million in financial support for the province’s seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Brian Pallister made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday.

“This payment will provide seniors with some of the support they need during this very, very challenging time,” he said.

The new Seniors Economic Recovery Credit, which was created through an expansion of the Manitoba Protection Plan, will give a one-time $200, refundable tax credit to every Manitoban aged 65 and older. The premier noted that 225,000 seniors will receive a payment in May.

“Our government has begun to carefully reopen Manitoba’s economy this week, this credit payment is putting $45 million more into the hands of Manitoba’s seniors right away,” Pallister said.

Manitoba’s Department of Finance will be proactively mailing a cheque as a credit advance to every senior that filed a 2018 income tax return before April 1, 2020. Seniors have until May 12 to let the province know if they’ve had a change in mailing address.

“Those who don’t get a cheque in the mail in May will be able to claim a $200 seniors credit on their 2020 income tax return,” Pallister explained.

The province noted, this tax credit won’t be counted taxable as income and won’t be used to claw back income-tested benefits for seniors.

“Seniors in our province deserve our love and respect and our extra help and support as well,” the premier said.

The premier also noted that though Manitoba’s COVID-19 numbers are low, it doesn’t mean the risk is low.

“Rather this is a reflection of Manitobans doing the necessary things to protect themselves and one and other,” he said.

Pallister also thanked those who offered condolences over the death of his younger sister.