March 19, 2020

Statement by MFL President Kevin Rebeck on the Provincial Government Budget

We realize that this budget was originally meant to be introduced last week, but our province and economy have changed dramatically since then. 

We need an emergency economic action plan that meets our new realities: large numbers of workers experiencing reduced shifts and layoffs, schools and child-care centres shut down, businesses and non-profit organizations closing, and workers and their families struggling to stay afloat.

Working families in Manitoba, and our economy and health care system are all facing unprecedented challenges. The budget as presented does not reflect the new realities Manitoba workers are facing.

Manitobans are worried about their health and their ability to pay the bills over the coming weeks. They are worried about keeping their jobs or having jobs to come back to. People are looking to their government for support in navigating the uncertain economic times ahead. And they are looking for increased investments to meet our increased health care needs, not the flat-lined funding for health care that this budget presents.

We are calling on the Pallister government to take a necessary first step and make a clear commitment to all working Manitobans to immediately implement 14 days of job-protected leave. People need all the support they can get right now, from all levels of government.