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Manitoba premier to recall legislature next week to pass emergency legislation
Published Wednesday, April 8, 2020 10:45AM CST Last Updated Wednesday, April 8, 2020 2:14PM CST
WINNIPEG -- Premier Brian Pallister is recalling the Manitoba legislature to pass legislation to assist Manitobans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a news conference Wednesday morning, Pallister told reporters the plan is to reconvene on April 15.
“I have asked my House Leader, Mr. Kelvin Goertzen, to continue his negotiation with the opposition,” Pallister said. “It is necessary and important that we meet, subject to all the safety requirements we can possibly adhere to through our meeting.”
Pallister said one-third of MLAs will be in the legislature to ensure physical distancing is maintained and to ensure quorum.
The emergency session is to allow the province to pass measures previously announced to assist Manitobans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will need to meet one day to free up literally billions of dollars to support frontline health workers, and our health care system,” Pallister said. “We will need to act together to make it easier for retired health professionals to come back to work. We will need to adopt measures to ensure Manitobans have the financial flexibility they need during these uncertain times.”
Pallister said the session is not the time for partisan politics.
“This is the time to remain focused together on the pandemic response, and to enact the measures to ensure we’re protecting Manitoba citizens as best as we possibly can,” he said.
Pallister also confirmed the province is putting together modelling on how the COVID-19 pandemic could impact Manitoba and could be released “soon” to the province.
PENALTIES COMING FOR NOT FOLLOWING PHYSICAL DISTANCING
Penalties for those who violate public health orders and physical distancing will be implemented shortly, Pallister said.
“We’re moving forward with an initial ticketing plan,” the premier said, adding approval will be needed from the other parties before it can be put in place.
Pallister said the province is looking at taking active measures to warn Manitobans in the short-term, before bringing in stricter penalties. More details on the penalties are expected next week.
“I would hope it isn’t necessary, but it’s pretty evident that for some people, they’re either living in a cave, or they’re just so selfish that they don’t have an understanding of their impact on other people on this planet. So, we’re going to need to take necessary steps to protect all of us from that kind of conduct.”