WINNIPEG -- Manitoba’s premier got emotional while talking about the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a news conference on Thursday, Brian Pallister reflected on the time, during the 1930s, when his dad and aunt were impacted by Polio.

“My dad had to drop out of school, was confined to his bedroom for almost half a year and my grandmother shared stories with me about those times and they weren’t easy times,” he said.

“She had to experience watching him learn how to walk again and he was left with permanent disabilities, breathing and leg ailments, but he lived through it and survived.

The memory of it is something, certainly, my grandmother and others in our family would never have forgotten in their lifetimes.”

Pallister also got emotional while relaying a message he found from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

“As we continue to wake up apart, drink our coffee apart, work apart, care for our families apart, try to stay active apart, walk our dogs apart, teach our grandparents how to video chat apart, watch reruns of our favourite shows apart, forget what day it is apart, miss our friends apart, worry about our health and our jobs and our loved ones apart, stress about our finances apart, wondering if things will ever go back to normal apart, laugh apart, cry apart, and be apart. It is important to know that you aren’t in this alone.”


An online cognitive behavioural therapy program to help support Manitobans and address anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic is now live.

The province has invested $4.5 million in the therapy program. Pallister said over 800 Manitobans pre-registered and nearly 600 people are already seeking help and counselling.

Residents can sign up for this service online

“Support is available to you if you need it in the coming weeks, please reach out if you need support during these uncertain times,” Pallister said.

The AbilitiCBT is free for Manitobans and guided by professional therapists. People do not need to be referred to the program by a doctor. It is available for English and French for Manitobans over the age of 16.


The premier also gave several updates on measures enacted through the Manitoba Protection Plan:

- Thousands of people have stepped up through the Help Next Door MB website. There are 6,370 users on the site, which will be enhanced to make sure even more people who can help can do so;

- In recent months the province has hired over 300 more nurses, and 50 former nurses have returned to work to help during the pandemic;

- Over 1,600 childcare needs have been addressed for frontline healthcare workers. This service has been expanded to include all critical service workers in the province. The premier said so far they have matched 88 per cent of all requests.

- As of this week, the province has moved to an online process where critical service workers can look up available childcare.