Coronavirus: New emergency measure orders aim to support Manitoba’s vulnerable, supply chain

New orders under Manitoba's Emergency Measures Act will ease various permits and requirements for truckers. Pixabay

The Manitoba government is implementing four new temporary orders under The Emergency Measures Act which will support the economy and protect the flow of goods and supplies during the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the province.

“We are suspending certain statutory requirements and extending deadlines with the well-being of Manitobans in mind,” Premier Brian Pallister said in a news release.

“Our government is listening and acting on the concerns brought forward by our partners in various areas.”

The first order applies to Child and Family Services (CFS) and ensures youth who age out of the system will continue to receive support during the emergency period.

The Student Aid Provisions Order means borrowers can’t go into default and suspends the obligation for repayments to begin within eight months after the end of their studies.

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The minimum monthly payment has also been reduced from $25 to $0, while the maximum term for repayment has been extended.

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Post-secondary students will also remain eligible for aid, even if they stop qualifying during the emergency period.

Those who have existing loans aren’t obligated to pay back their loan for six months beginning March 30.

Meantime, the International Fuel Tax Agreement Credential Provisions Order suspends the requirement that licensed carriers display credentials. The province also says it won’t fine carriers if their licensing authority is unable to distribute their credentials.

A previous amendment stripped trucks entering Manitoba of the requirement to obtain a single-trip permit for the duration of the state of emergency.

Finally, the Trucking and Transportation Provisions Order extends a range of permits and certificates for truckers until July 31.

It includes vehicles registered under the International Registration Plan (IRR), which oversees trucks and buses operating across jurisdictions in North America.

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The order extends the period between required inspections, extends annual overweight or over-dimensional vehicle permits and extends safety fitness certificates for commercial carriers.

Single-trip permits for increased vehicle weights and for commercial vehicles from other jurisdictions are temporarily suspended, and registration renewal charges for the IRR are extended.

Separately, new and non-residents have until July 31 to replace their driving permits with a Manitoba’s driver’s licence, or until three months after they enter the province — whichever is longer.

The orders extend for the duration of the state of emergency — which began on March 20, 2020, and is currently set to expire on May 18, 2020 — however, the government says it can revoke any of the orders at any time it sees fit.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba declares state of emergency over COVID-19'
Manitoba declares state of emergency over COVID-19

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