WINNIPEG -- The City of Winnipeg said amid Code Red restrictions and the closure of some of its facilities, about 600 temporary staff with the Community Services Department are without work.

The city made the announcement on Wednesday, adding that it will be reopening limited library services and postponing all recreational winter programming.

The city said it’s been working with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) to remove restrictions on collective agreements. As a result of this, the city has been able to look at redeployment options for these workers.

The city is calling these employees today to see if they would want to be redeployed if opportunities come up, and to figure out the next steps.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman said there is the possibility of workers being redeployed to work for the province.

“We still don’t have specific or a direct answer from the province regarding a potential redeployment, but we’re going to work with them and do what we can, if and when they would like to have staff redeployed to support the provincial government’s efforts,” he said.

Temporary layoffs are effective as of Sunday, Nov. 29.

City workers who are temporarily laid off will be given access to mental health supports. 

For employees who regularly receive Employment Insurance benefits, the city registered a Supplementary Unemployment Benefit Plan with the Government of Canada, which will provide a top-up to 75 per cent of their regular gross weekly salary for a period of four weeks.


The city also announced it is reopening limited library services by providing contactless holds pick-up and return services at 10 libraries starting on Dec. 7.

These 10 libraries include:

  • Charleswood;
  • River Heights;
  • St. Boniface;
  • Pembina Trail;
  • Henderson;
  • St. James;
  • Millennium;
  • Louis Riel;
  • Transcona; and
  • Sir William Stephenson.

Hours of operation will be Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Customers will not be able to enter any of these branches, but can place a hold using the library’s online catalogue or mobile app.


The city also decided to postpone all of its winter recreational programming through January and until further notice.

This includes registered, drop-in and free programming, as well as the printing and release of a Winter 2021 Leisure Guide and associated registrations.