State of emergency extended in Manitoba for what could be the final time
The Manitoba government is once again extending the state of emergency that was put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, this could be the final extension.
Minister Ron Schuler made the announcement Tuesday, noting the extension will come into effect on Wednesday at 4 p.m. and will be in place for 30 days.
"We will continue to adapt and respond to the pandemic, but we need Manitobans to continue to follow the fundamentals to ensure we can move forward on the path of a post-pandemic recovery," Schuler said in a release.
In an interview with CTV News Winnipeg on Tuesday, Schuler said this could be the last extension as the state of emergency is “purely symbolic” at this point.
He added that Manitoba is in a health emergency, not a state of emergency.
“In the last 18 months we’ve basically moved what we needed to into regulation and covered it off with legislation,” the minister explained.
“So we don’t really need a state of emergency. Out of an abundance of caution, we’re going to extend it one more time, so this will be the 19th extension of a state of emergency of the original.”
Schuler noted after this extension, the discussion will begin on whether the province should just let it expire.
He said the province does not want to send the wrong message, as Manitoba is still in a health emergency, but it may no longer require the state of emergency.
“We think that we, at some point in time, are going to come out of this and we don’t really need the state of emergency right now to get there,” Schuler said.
He said he is a “little uncomfortable” that Manitoba keeps extending the state of emergency, adding that perhaps it’s time to let it expire because “it really has nothing underneath it.”
Schuler said the province will need to complete an assessment and see what the public thinks, noting they don’t want to scare anyone.
“Perhaps by extending it, people are unnecessarily alarmed,” he said.
“On the other hand, we don’t want to send the wrong message that everything is okay.”
The state of emergency was originally declared on March 20, 2020.
- With files from CTV’s Jon Hendricks and Kayla Rosen.