Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction Strategy


Budget 2022 affirms the Manitoba government’s continued commitment to protecting and promoting the well-being of Manitobans, especially the most marginalized families and individuals who are in greatest need of support.

During the initial phase of the pandemic in 2020, the Manitoba government worked in partnership with the federal government and community organizations to support vulnerable Manitobans who were experiencing difficulties caused by COVID-19 lockdown. Statistics Canada’s low income data for 2020 affirms that this collaborative response to the challenges of the pandemic was successful in helping Manitobans in need. The child poverty rate in Manitoba declined significantly to
6 per cent in 2020 from 19.3 per cent in 2015, or a
69 per cent improvement.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is working hard to sustain the progress that was achieved in reducing poverty. Manitoba is investing in priority areas as identified in Pathways to a Better Future: Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction Strategy . These investments will address important issues in the areas of employment, early learning and child care, income assistance, mental health, addictions, wellness, community-based projects and social innovation. Amidst the continued risk from COVID-19, the government will also continue to invest in protecting the health and safety of vulnerable Manitobans.

Moving forward in 2022/23, the Manitoba government is focused on setting the province on the road to recovery from the negative impact of the pandemic to create a better life for all Manitobans.

Moving forward in 2022/23, the Manitoba government is focused on setting the province on the road to recovery from the negative impact of the pandemic to create a better life for all Manitobans.

Poverty Reduction Strategy

Budget 2022 lays out the government’s plans to address the many challenges faced by marginalized Manitobans living in poverty through the priorities and goals of Pathways to a Better Future: Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction Strategy .

Launched in 2019, Pathways to a Better Future: Manitoba s Poverty Reduction Strategy takes a whole of government and collaborative approach to poverty reduction and social inclusion. Recognizing that reducing poverty is a shared responsibility, the strategy is founded on the principles of reconciliation, and collaboration across governments, communities, businesses and other stakeholders.

A set of 13 indicators, including Canada’s official poverty line, is used to measure the strategy’s progress in reducing poverty.

There were 35,000 fewer Manitoban children living in poverty in 2020 than in 2015. The table below shows more detailed information for various sub-populations:

Low Income in Manitoba, 2015 – 2020, Statistics Canada, Market Basket Measure 1







Per Cent Change

2015 to 2020

2019 to 2020

All Manitobans

Rate, per cent









Rank (1 is best)

















Rate, per cent









Rank (1 is best)

















Rate, per cent









Rank (1 is best)
















Persons in Lone-Parent Families

Rate, per cent









Rank (1 is best)
















1 Data from Statistics Canada’s 2018–base Market Basket Measure (MBM) series based on Canadian Income Survey. Data from 2015 to 2019 may differ from data earlier reported because of Statistics Canada’s population rebasing to reflect the 2016 census population.

The key target of the strategy is to reduce the child poverty rate by 25 per cent by 2025, relative to the 2015 baseline. Using the most recent data on the Market Basket Measure (MBM), Manitoba surpassed its key target in 2020. The child poverty rate improved by 69 per cent to 6 per cent in 2020 from 19.3 per cent in 2015.

In 2022, the Manitoba government is investing in initiatives along the six priority areas of the strategy:

  • investing in Manitoba’s future prosperity through supports to children and youth
  • working together to improve health outcomes and standard of living
  • promoting economic inclusion through employment, education and training
  • facilitating partnerships and supporting community-based organizations
  • strengthening client-centred service delivery
  • making positive change through social innovation

Highlights Of Government Actions In Priority Areas

Investing in Manitoba’s Future Prosperity through Supports to Children and Youth

Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement

The Manitoba government is committed to improving access to quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care (ELCC) programs and services.

On August 9, 2021, the governments of Canada and Manitoba jointly announced the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, providing Manitoba with $1.2 billion in federal funding over five years, to support the goal of $10-per-day average out-of-pocket parent fees.

Manitoba’s Action Plan under this agreement aligns with key departmental priorities that support Manitoba’s ELCC transformation. A priority area of the transformation plan is to ensure affordability of child care fees with financial assistance for providers through a modernized, equitable funding approach. This funding approach will be achieved by leveraging federal funding to develop and implement a new financial assistance program. As a first step, Manitoba is expanding eligibility to its Child Care Subsidy Program, resulting in nearly half of regulated spaces being subsidized. This will reduce out-of-pocket parent fees for families with children in regulated child care by an average of 30 per cent. This change ensures Manitoba is on track to achieve a key joint commitment in the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement to reduce out-of-pocket parent fees by 50 per cent by December 31, 2022.

Child Care Subsidy Program: Subsidy Threshold Increase – Increase in Net Income Threshold

The first step to lowering out-of-pocket parent fees and reducing the financial burden on vulnerable families is increasing the eligibility threshold for the Child Care Subsidy program.

The subsidy threshold increase will allow Manitoba to support the goal of achieving a $10-per-day out-of-pocket average parent fee per child by March 2023 – three years ahead of the target (2025/26). ELCC has implemented the subsidy threshold increase effective February 6, 2022, by introducing amendments to subsections 41(5), (7), and (8) of the Child Care Regulation with the amended income levels. Manitoba is increasing net annual household income thresholds and allowable deductions for the Child Care Subsidy program by 45 per cent, which will range from an average net household income from $23,883 to $37,116 for a full subsidy and partial subsidy will range from $37,542 to $82,877.

To support this initiative, the Manitoba government is increasing spending of its annual subsidy allocation to increase income thresholds at a cost of $82.7 million, of which $64.5 million will be offset by federal funding committed under the Canada-Manitoba Canada-Wide ELCC Agreement. Manitoba will prioritize this investment towards services for children from newborn to age six, and provide provincial funding supports for subsidy to eligible children ages seven to 12. The proposed threshold increase will provide substantially more Manitoba families with assistance by ensuring that low- and middle-income families can now afford child care to be able to enter the workforce, which means they will be financially better off than they are now. Ensuring that low- and middle-income Manitobans have access to child care to advance their ability to participate and maintain employment is critical, particularly as Manitoba’s economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic.

The first step to lowering out-of-pocket parent fees and reducing the financial burden on vulnerable families is increasing the eligibility threshold for the Child Care Subsidy program.
The subsidy threshold increase will allow Manitoba to support the goal of achieving a $10-per-day out-of-pocket average parent fee per child by March 2023 – three years ahead of the target (2025/26).

Of the 38,000 spaces available in the regulated early learning and child care system, 6,000 children, or 16 per cent, currently receive a full or partial child care subsidy. With the increases in eligibility, it is estimated that 12,000 additional children will receive support to access regulated child care, particularly in low- and middle-income families. As a result, the increase will have significant impacts on poverty going forward by making early learning and child care more affordable.

Poverty and Education Task Force: A Response to the Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education

The Manitoba government recognizes the complex interrelationship between poverty and education. Poverty reduces a child’s readiness for school, impacts physical health and motor skills development, and diminishes a child’s ability to concentrate and think critically. Poverty is a major barrier to a student’s ability to learn and succeed in school. A good educational foundation from kindergarten to high school is a pathway to a better life that may break the cycle of poverty.

Recognizing this interrelationship and in response to the Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12, the Manitoba government established a Poverty and Education Task Force, in connection with the Poverty Reduction Committee and Strategy, to work across government departments and with communities, students, parents and education stakeholders to examine linkages between poverty and education, and identify areas of action at the classroom, school and divisional levels to improve outcomes for all students. The task force has identified three areas of focus including food access and security, socioeconomic barriers like transportation and access to technology, and a lack of continuity of education for children in care.

The Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 also identified the need to work across the school system, community and government to leverage expertise and resources to address the full scope of student needs and improve presence and engagement. Student presence and engagement requires a whole-of-government approach with supports and resources to poverty reduction, and collaboration and co-ordination with community. The Attendance Task Force’s areas of focus include the implementation of an Attendance Policy, Attendance Action Plan and initiatives to work across government and with the community to address the causes of absenteeism, and support student presence and engagement in schools.

Supports to Young Adults

Youth transitioning out of care are among those who are most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Manitoba government is committed to a proactive strategy, using grant funding to offer ongoing support to young adults who would otherwise be ineligible for ongoing supports from Child and Family Services (CFS) agencies. This includes young adults who were non-permanent wards and those who turned 21 to help ensure a successful transition to adulthood during this
difficult time.

Child and Family Services Authorities will work with CFS agencies to continue providing support to youth who would otherwise be ineligible for this assistance during Manitoba’s pandemic recovery. With this funding, these youth are able to continue receiving supports such as financial assistance, housing and mental health services.

Teachers’ Idea Fund Projects

For children living in poverty, a good educational foundation is an important pathway to a brighter future. Across Manitoba, skilled and dedicated teachers, staff and school leaders support quality education and improve student outcomes through innovation every day. To support this work, Manitoba created the Teachers’ Idea Fund that provides the resources to put into action their innovative ideas. Many of the projects aim to reduce the barriers that children in poverty face including through targeted literacy initiatives, family engagement and connections to the school, and advancing reconciliation through new land-based learning initiatives.

On Dec.13, 2021, the Manitoba government announced the approval of $5 million for 28 new Teachers’ Idea Fund projects, bringing the total commitment to $6.5 million provided by the Teachers’ Idea Fund in support of nearly 110 projects.

Child Nutrition Program

Having access to nutritious food at school supports the health and well-being of students, families and communities, and is essential in equipping students to thrive at school.

The Manitoba government is increasing funding to the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba by $200,000 to provide funding to school nourishment programs in more schools throughout the province. This new funding is in addition to the $976,000 that Manitoba provides annually and will help address the increased demand for healthy food programs in schools. The investment will help support more than 271 programs reaching more than 33,000 students every day.

Healthy Pregnancies: InSight Mentoring Program

Manitoba continues to support healthy pregnancies. The InSight Mentoring Program is an evidence-based fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) prevention program for people who use substances and are pregnant/have children under one year of age. InSight offers participants and their families a three-year relationship with a mentor who provides practical support, advocacy and connection to community resources. Evaluation has shown that InSight participants have reduced risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancy, increased prenatal health care and stronger connections to community services. InSight receives
$1.48 million in annual funding for seven program sites located in Winnipeg (two sites), Dauphin, Portage la Prairie, The Pas, Flin Flon and Thompson.

Children with Disabilities

The Manitoba government remains committed to improving the outcomes of children with disabilities in Manitoba. Over 6,000 children and their families access the Children’s disABILITY Services program and it is anticipated the demand for supports will continue to grow. Over the past five years, caseloads have increased 19.8 per cent from 2015/16 to 2020/21, outpacing a growth rate of 11.4 per cent over the five years prior.

As demand for services continues to grow, Budget 2022/23 provides an additional $5 million toward Children’s disABILITY Services. This funding will aim to reduce wait times and build additional capacity for improved case management and therapeutic services.

Working Together to Improve Health Outcomes and Standard of Living

New Disability Income Program

The Manitoba government is committed to supporting the specific needs of Manitobans with severe and prolonged disabilities and to improving their quality of life.

The Disability Support Act, passed in October 2021, established the framework for a new income support program, the Disability Income Program, for people with severe and prolonged disabilities, separate from Employment and Income Assistance.

The new program is intended to provide eligible low-income Manitobans with severe and prolonged disabilities with services and supports tailored to their unique needs. Expected to be implemented in 2022/23, the program design will be informed by consultations with stakeholders. Key program details will be outlined in regulation and in policy to be developed throughout 2022/23.

Vulnerable Persons’ Task Force – Implementing the Recommendations

The Manitoba government is committed to supporting adults with an intellectual disability to lead inclusive, satisfying lives in the community.

In September 2020, the Vulnerable Persons Act Task Force was established to identify opportunities to transform the system of supports for vulnerable adults.

In December 2021, the government released the task force final report Pathways to Dignity: Rights, Safeguards, Planning and Decision Making , along with a two-year implementation plan beginning January 2022.

The work includes:

  • implementing changes to current service practices
  • exploring service and policy solutions with community groups
  • designing and launching pilot projects
  • continuing policy and practice reviews
  • implementing legislative changes

The government is committed to implementing the recommendations of the task force, which are expected to improve the lives of adults living with an intellectual disability and those who support them.

As a first step, the Manitoba government has provided Inclusion Winnipeg with $100,000 to deliver person-centred planning training to direct service workers and community service workers across the province. This training will provide frontline staff with the tools necessary to ensure that adults with an intellectual disability are supported to identify their goals and access the appropriate supports to lead a good quality of life.

The Manitoba government has also invested $675,000 to support service providers to develop peer support networks for adults with an intellectual disability and their families, and recruit community-based supported decision makers to ensure that vulnerable adults receive the support they need to make informed decisions, in a manner that respects their right to self direct their lives.

Community Living disABILITY Services

Community Living disABILITY Services provides the services and supports to assist adults with an intellectual disability to meet their goals and live inclusive lives in the community. Over 7,500 adults currently access the Community Living disABILITY Services program and receive a range of support services through a network of funded service providers across the province.

The Manitoba government recognizes the importance of supporting service partners to recruit and retain highly skilled, direct service workers into the sector to support program participants. As a first step toward stabilizing this important workforce, Budget 2022 provides an additional $10 million to increase the wages provided to front-line staff employed by Community Living disABILITY Services funded service providers.

Mental Health and Addictions Support

Mental health problems can lead to poverty through loss of employment or underemployment or breakdown in social relationships. Poverty also creates barriers to accessing resources that people with mental illness need for recovery.

In February 2022, the Manitoba government launched A Pathway to Mental Health and Community Wellness: A Roadmap for Manitoba , a new direction for the province’s mental health, substance use and addiction recovery system, and broader wellness and health promotion programs over the next five years.

As part of the launch, the Manitoba government is also investing $23.7 million to support ongoing initiatives that align with the priorities of the roadmap and $17.1 million in funding to support year one of the plan.

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral Initiative

Timely interventions for people with mental health and addictions issues are key to supporting well-being over the longer term.

Through the federal Substance Use and Addictions Program, the Canada and Manitoba governments are providing $650,000 over three years to support the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral Initiative (SBIR), which provides early interventions and referrals to treatment for adults living with mental health and addictions issues. The goal of SBIR is to have adults who see a primary care provider screened for mental health and addictions issues, and to receive brief intervention or a referral, if required. Early interventions may include providing information about a substance they are using, such as the low-risk alcohol or cannabis guidelines. In situations where an individual would benefit from receiving treatment, they would receive a referral for an appropriate service.

The program includes training for primary care providers and will be implemented in sites throughout the province.

Crisis Stabilization Units Expansion

The Manitoba government is investing more than $500,000 in one-time funding to add six crisis stabilization unit beds at the Crisis Response Centre to improve access to mental health services, reduce wait times and address bed capacity at emergency departments.

Telepsychiatry Expansion

The Manitoba government is investing more than $342,000 to provide emergency telepsychiatry assessments to rural emergency departments and First Nations communities in order to improve access and reduce travel for care.

Supportive Recovery Housing Units in Rural and Northern Manitoba

Supportive recovery housing provides a stable home for individuals completing addictions treatment and transitioning into their next phase of recovery. To ensure access to this type of support throughout the province, the Manitoba government invested in two new projects in Thompson and Brandon. Westman Youth for Christ Inc. has developed nine new supportive recovery-housing units in Brandon through an investment of nearly $90,000. Men are Part of the Solution Inc. (MAPS) is based in Thompson and is now supporting an additional 12 supportive recovery housing units for women through a $402,000 provincial investment.

Health and Wellness Promotion

Nicotine Replacement Therapy

Building on the success of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and Tobacco Quit Card program, the Manitoba government is providing funding to expand the current program and improve service accessibility across the province, supporting more individuals to quit smoking. Recognizing that smoking is a key leading risk factor for chronic disease, this $300,000 investment will support efforts to improve population health outcomes. The program will target lower income individuals who wish to quit smoking, and provide free NRT and counselling to clients.

Comprehensive Provincial Diabetes Strategy

As a first step toward addressing the burden of diabetes, the Manitoba government has worked with Shared Health to begin the development of a Manitoba Diabetes Action Plan. In 2021, the Department of Mental Health and Community Wellness conducted initial planning, evidence review and engagement with health system collaborators to advance Manitoba’s comprehensive Diabetes Prevention Action Plan. The strategy aligns with Manitoba’s Clinical and Preventative Services Plan and the Diabetes Canada’s Diabetes 360 Strategy. Recognizing that diabetes disproportionately affects people with lower incomes, the Manitoba Diabetes Action Plan is closely linked to provincial poverty reduction efforts, aiming to address the factors that contribute to rising diabetes rates.

Reducing Health Costs for Manitobans

The Manitoba government is investing in initiatives that seek to reduce health costs to Manitobans, such as:

  • Expansion of Cochlear Implant Processor Upgrade Coverage: this initiative provides 80 per cent coverage of cost of cochlear implants processor replacements for all adults; previously, coverage was only limited to replacements for pediatrics.
  • Provincial Diabetes Insulin Pump and Glucose Monitoring Expansion: this new program pays for the cost of continuous glucose monitoring devices for eligible children and youth under the age of 25. The program also increases the age limit of the insulin pump program from age 18 to 25 so clinically eligible young people with Type 1 diabetes can now receive support.
  • Forensic Nurse Examiner Program: this program, which provides support to victims of sexual assaults and intimate partner violence, is being expanded to include the areas of Brandon, Thompson and The Pas. This expansion helps victims avoid unnecessary travel and medical costs.
  • Provincial Remote Home Monitoring Program-Canada Health Infoway: the project would enable patients with chronic diseases/COVID-19 to self-report diagnostic information and is designed to reduce the number of patients who need to make hospital visits, resulting in fewer costly hospital admissions and emergency room services.
  • Expansion of Newborn Screening at Cadham Provincial Laboratory (CPL): This expands the screening newborns for spinal muscular atrophy and sickle cell disease at CPL. This program is expected to provide cost savings, as earlier detection and treatments keep children out of acute and long-term care, keeping them at home with their families.
  • Additional Funding for the Manitoba Pharmacare Program: pharmacare is a universal, comprehensive prescription drug program with benefits based on family income. The program covers 100 per cent of eligible drug costs once the income-based deductible is reached, regardless of medical condition or age.

Caring for the Elderly

The elderly, especially those who live alone, are facing barriers to living a respectable and decent quality of life and are at risk of living in low income. The Manitoba government is committed to responding to the needs of Manitoba’s senior citizens and is undertaking initiatives that promote the well-being and wellness of the elderly, such as:

  • Elder abuse prevention: the government is providing additional one-time funding for elder abuse prevention services, including the Safe Suites Program, to provide temporary housing for people 55 years or older in need of a safe place to stay due to abuse, and for Prevent Elder Abuse Manitoba (PEAM), an interdisciplinary network of service providers that aim to increase awareness and support communities in preventing elder abuse.
  • Home and community care modernization: this provides $7.2 million in 2022/23 to support two Home and Community Care Modernization pilot projects to provide more safe spaces for seniors and to improve home and community based care.
  • Personal care home (PCH) capital/operating projects: the personal care home projects are related to the creation of 1,200 PCH beds by 2025.
  • Alzheimer Society of Manitoba First Link Client Support Services: this provides additional one-time funding support to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba for its First Link Client Support Program, which connects people with dementia and their families to information, support services and education.

Safe Space and Behavioral Care Units

Addressing the special needs of vulnerable Manitobans is a priority of the Manitoba government. The province is investing in projects that provide for safe space and behavioural care units for these individuals, such as:

  • Health Science Centre (HSC) Winnipeg Urology Relocation: this project is required to create a safe space at the HSC Emergency Department to accommodate mental health and addiction patients waiting for treatment and receiving care as part of the Safe Place for Care Project.
  • HSC Emergency Psychiatry and Addictions: this project provides funding for a new unit and hiring of additional addictions, mental health and security staff at the HSC Winnipeg’s emergency department to improve outcomes for patients in various stages of intoxication, withdrawal or mental health crisis.
  • Deer Lodge Special Needs Units: this project converts the general Veteran Personal Care Home units to special needs/behavioural care units to address the growing demand for mental health services for both transitional care and for behaviourally challenging patients.
  • Personal Care Home Behavioral Care Units: these projects will provide funding for the creation of behavioural care units in Salem Home Personal Care Home in Winkler, and in Fairview Personal Care Home in Brandon.

Affordable Housing Initiatives

Manitoba Housing supports a high proportion of vulnerable populations through collaboration with stakeholders and all levels of government. Manitoba Housing continues to prioritize support for households most in need including those who have complex barriers that require a combination of housing and support services. Specialized housing and supports will target those experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness, youth aging out of care, Indigenous Manitobans, women and children fleeing violence, and other vulnerable groups as they transition through the housing continuum.

In 2022/23, the Manitoba government will complete the rollout of $12 million in grant funding to 10 municipalities throughout the province to assist with affordable housing initiatives that meet the housing needs of vulnerable Manitobans. Under the Municipal Grant Funding, each municipality is responsible for determining projects in their respective communities that best address housing affordability and redevelopment objectives.

Additionally, in 2022/23 Manitoba Housing will continue to provide subsidies and affordability support in the non-profit, private and community sectors, and promote mixed-income housing models to ensure the sustainability of the housing system. This includes:

  • providing affordability support to additional households who are not in receipt of Employment and Income Assistance with Rent Assist
  • supporting more than 990 rent supplements in the community housing sector that were formerly funded under the Investment in Affordable Housing agreement
  • continuing to provide community housing project based subsidies to 850 units including 743 units of Urban Native Housing

Manitoba Housing will also continue to support Urban Native Housing by providing $3.5 million in operating subsidies to this sector.

Canada-Manitoba Housing Benefit

The Canada-Manitoba Housing Benefit (CMHB) is a portable shelter benefit targeted towards three vulnerable populations in core housing need. The youth aging out of care and the homelessness streams are focused on the private market, and the mental health and addictions stream begins in designated supportive housing projects that provide a stable, recovery-oriented environment before the client exits to the private market. While the community-housing sector is a valuable partner in addressing housing need, Manitoba’s private rental market has an important role to play in helping alleviate the high demand for housing. The CMHB diverts individuals from community housing wait–lists, thereby reducing wait times to access community housing for others.

In 2022/23, it is estimated the three streams of the CMHB and Manitoba’s cost match through the non-EIA Rent Assist program will provide over $13 million in funding between the Manitoba and federal governments to support 2,017 individuals.

Education Property Tax Rebate

The Manitoba government recognizes the importance of providing Manitobans with much needed tax relief. In 2021, Manitoba began phasing out the education property taxes that are included on annual property tax statements by implementing the Education Property Tax Rebate, which provided a rebate to homeowners of 25 per cent of their school taxes.

In its second year of implementation, homeowners will receive a 37.5 per cent rebate of their school taxes in 2022, increasing to 50 per cent in 2023.

As landlords of residential buildings will benefit from the Education Property Tax Rebate, and to account for the proportional reduction in the education property tax offsets, Manitoba has set the annual rent guidelines at zero per cent for 2022 and 2023. If material improvements are made to a property, landlords will still be able to apply for an above-guideline rent increase.

Manitoba Residential Renters Tax Credit (Renters Credit)

Approximately 40 per cent of Manitoba households reside in residential tenancies and pay monthly rent. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Rental Market Report, while the Winnipeg vacancy rate is healthy at nearly four per cent, the vacancy rate for lower income renters is much tighter. Over 90 per cent of this cohort resides in bachelor and one-bedroom suites, making it difficult for larger households to access affordable rents.

Commencing in 2022, the renters’ Education Property Tax Credit will become the Manitoba Residential Renters Tax Credit (Renters Credit). The Renters Credit will continue to be delivered through the annual personal income tax return and apply to principal residences. In addition, the credit will no longer be calculated based on 20 per cent of annual rent. Instead, the Renters Credit will be calculated on a monthly basis, on the same basis that residential tenants pay rent.

Three significant enhancements are also made under the Renters Credit. First, the annual amount will be fixed at $525, the same amount as in 2021 under the other tax credit program. Second, people enrolled in Rent Assist and not on Employment and Income Assistance, will now qualify fully for the Renters Credit. This will benefit up to 11,000 households. Finally, Manitobans in social housing, who pay rent geared to income and did not qualify for the renters’ Education Property Tax Credit, will now qualify for the Renters Credit. This will benefit up to 34,000 households in social housing. This means that up to 45,000 households will newly qualify for up to $24 million in new Renters Credits starting in 2022.

Tax Changes – Increasing Family Income

The Manitoba government is committed to reducing the tax burden on Manitobans while continuing to provide essential services to families and individuals. Manitoba’s Personal Income Tax Brackets and the Basic Personal Amount increased by 2.1 per cent to $10,145 for the 2022 taxation year, and are indexed to the Manitoba Consumer Price Index. Cumulatively Manitobans will save nearly $162 million in 2022 alone because of indexing since 2017. As a result, an estimated 3,260 taxpayers are removed from the tax rolls. The table below shows information on the Basic Personal Amount and the number of Manitobans removed from the tax rolls for the period from 2017 to 2022:

Basic Personal Amount and Manitobans Removed from Tax Rolls, 2017 to 2022, Manitoba

Tax Year

Basic Personal

Manitobans Removed from
Tax Rolls (Year-over-Year)

Manitobans Removed from Tax Rolls (Cumulative)

Indexation Factor































Rent Relief Fund

In March 2021, Manitoba Housing committed a $5.6 million grant to the Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association (MNPHA) for the creation and administration of a rent bank, the Manitoba Rent Relief Fund (MRRF). The MRRF provides fast-access crisis intervention loans to bridge a temporary interruption of income or unexpected expense that causes rent or utility arrears and a pending eviction. By preventing the life disruption caused by evictions, loans from the Manitoba Rent Relief Fund enable the housing stability needed to engage in work, education and community. The loans are interest-free, have flexible repayment terms and payments are made directly to the landlord or utility provider.

The MRRF was a one-time grant committed in the 2020/21 budget. However, the two-year agreement with MNPHA
for the administration of the program extends to
March 31, 2023.

Rent Assist

The Rent Assist program is an innovative rental supplement program for low-income Manitobans. The program provides rental assistance to eligible recipients of Employment and Income Assistance (EIA), and to eligible renters not on EIA. For EIA participants, Rent Assist benefit is included as part of their monthly income assistance.

The Manitoba Assistance Act requires the annual indexation of Rent Assist benefits to reflect the actual cost of renting.

Indexation of benefits will occur in July 2022. Rent Assist recipients who receive EIA benefits will be indexed to reflect 75 per cent of the median market rent in Winnipeg, and 80 per cent of median market rent for those not receiving EIA.

Northern Healthy Foods Initiative

The Manitoba government is committed to strengthening food security in northern Manitoba to help build and sustain healthier communities.

Manitoba’s Northern Healthy Food Initiative (NHFI) supports the development of culturally relevant and healthy foods systems for Indigenous people and their communities through local and regional projects. NHFI goals are to improve sustainable access to healthy and culturally appropriate foods in northern Manitoba, and strengthen community-led food security efforts.

While NHFI has made positive contributions to the health and well-being of northern communities, more work remains to be done as food insecurity issues in remote northern communities persist.

Homelessness Strategy

Manitoba is implementing a provincial homelessness strategy. Using a whole-of-government approach that incorporates Indigenous and community perspectives, including the lessons learned from the pandemic, the strategy aims to end homelessness.

Informed by consultations undertaken in January and February 2022, the strategy is expected to be released in spring 2022.

The strategy places an emphasis on homelessness prevention and recognizes the government’s commitment to ending homelessness is central to reconciliation with Indigenous people. The strategy focuses on developing and promoting Indigenous-led responses, increasing availability of housing with supports, modernizing the emergency response, developing seamless service delivery systems, and understanding the different nature of homelessness in rural and northern Manitoba.

In order to support community capacity, the Manitoba government will extend funding to End Homelessness Winnipeg for a further five years. End Homelessness Winnipeg is a proven leader in the homeless-serving sector in Winnipeg and will be an important partner in implementing the provincial homelessness strategy.

Adult FASD Assessment with Supports Pilot Project

The Manitoba government continues to invest in the three-year pilot project (2020 to 2023) that provides adult fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) assessment and follow-up supports for adults ages 18 to 25 involved in the justice system. Participants in the pilot receive access to FASD diagnostic assessment and follow-up supports toward the goal of reducing their justice system involvement and improving community integration. The pilot receives $332,000 in funding over three years to help build capacity for adult FASD assessment and follow-up services in Manitoba.

Promoting Economic Inclusion Through Employment, Education and Training

Labour Market Transfer Agreement

The Manitoba and federal governments are working together to help Manitobans get the training they need to keep good jobs. Under the Canada-Manitoba labour market transfer agreements, Canada provides funds annually to support the delivery of employment programs and services for unemployed and underemployed workers, upskilling Manitobans to be job ready. The Manitoba government is leveraging the federal funding support to create additional employment opportunities for Manitobans.

Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) Transformation

The EIA program recognizes capacity, contribution and the right to participate in the workforce for all Manitobans. In 2022, EIA transformation will continue to move forward in modernizing the program from one that fosters dependency to one that serves as a bridge to meaningful employment. This work is being done by helping Manitobans address barriers and move incrementally closer to independence while using a client-centric and assessment-informed approach.

Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy

Education, training and skill development are important program areas the Manitoba government continues to support to create the pathway to employment and better economic opportunities for Manitobans living in poverty. The Manitoba Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy includes targeted actions with four pillars to build stronger partnerships between post-secondary institutions, immigration, training and employment services, and labour market needs. Through the strategy, Manitoba continues to:

  • anticipate skills needed for the future
  • align education and training to labour market needs and help students succeed now and in the future
  • foster entrepreneurial and innovative skills
  • grow, attract and retain talent

Manitoba Student Aid Financial Supports to Students and Borrowers

Manitoba Student Aid provides financial assistance to students in the form of loans and bursaries to assist students with the costs of post-secondary education. The amount of assistance awarded to an applicant is based on the student’s assessed financial need. By assisting students to meet the costs of post-secondary education, Manitoba Student Aid improves the chances of educational and labour market success for Manitobans.

Manitoba Bursary and Manitoba Bursary Top-Up for Low-Income Indigenous Students

The Manitoba Bursary ($250 each month of full-time study up to a maximum of $2,000 per year) and the Manitoba Bursary for Low-Income Indigenous Students (up to an additional $188 each month of full-time study up to a maximum of $1,500 per year) provide eligible students with upfront, non-repayable bursaries to assist them with the costs of their education. Students are automatically considered for these programs when they submit their application for Canada and Manitoba Student Loans. Eligibility is based on assessed financial need, with lower-income students eligible for the maximum bursary awards.

Repayment Assistance Plan

Borrowers who are having trouble repaying their Manitoba Student Loan can apply for the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP). Revised monthly loan payments will be calculated based on family income and size. Depending on their circumstances, borrowers may be eligible for a lower monthly payment or may be eligible to make zero monthly payments. For borrowers who have been on RAP for 60 months or more and who still qualify for repayment support, Manitoba provides additional support to borrowers by making payments toward the principal of the loan.

Interest-Free Student Loans

Manitoba Student Loans have had zero per cent interest since August 1, 2015. This measure supports borrowers in repayment by making it easier for them to pay down their student loans.

Creating Jobs Through Supports to Businesses

Manitoba continues to support businesses that will generate jobs and help Manitobans regain their livelihood in response to the financial impact of the pandemic.

For the food and agricultural sector, grant funding initiatives of the Manitoba government include
multi-year project investments amounting to a total of $227.6 million for 19 businesses.

The Manitoba Protein Advantage Strategy continues to attract investment and create jobs during the pandemic. Since 2019, Manitoba’s protein industry has attracted new investments valued at $753 million, creating 840 new jobs. This strategy will play a critical role in post-COVID-19 economic recovery as it aims to attract $1.5 billion in new investments and create 1,550 new jobs through 2025.

The Innovation Growth Program is supporting small and medium-sized companies to develop and commercialize innovative products or processes, create jobs and contribute to provincial economic development. Since the program’s creation in 2019, the program has awarded $2.29 million in grants to support 30 innovation projects expected to create 176 jobs.

The Manitoba Works Capital Incentive helps diversify and stimulate job creation by creating a competitive tax environment. Since its creation in May 2020, 11 projects have been approved totalling $46.7 million in grant support. These projects are expected to create 1,218 construction jobs and 861 long-term jobs post-construction.

Through Retrain Manitoba and the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant programs, Manitoba has committed $20 million in 2021-22 to support employer-driven employee training to help meet business goals. Through the Job Grant program alone, Manitoba is supporting 270 companies to train over 5,300 employees, 390 of whom are new hires.

The Manitoba Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (MIDMTC) helps stimulate growth, job creation and attract new investment to the sector. In 2021, it approved eight new project Certificates of Eligibility for six businesses. Over the duration of their development, these new projects are projected to generate over $2.7 million in eligible labour expenditures within the industry. Ongoing enhancements to the MIDMTC will continue to help the industry grow.

The $15-million Digital Manitoba Initiative, delivered in partnership with the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, is helping to fund the digital adoption of over 1,000 businesses.

Investments in Employee Skills Development

Workforce Development and Industry Expansion Programs provide multi-year funding for training new and existing employees to support business expansion and competitiveness. In 2021-22, Manitoba provided $1.5 million to 12 companies to support the hiring and training of 542 new employees and training 458 existing employees.

Creating jobs and supporting employability of Manitobans are key to moving people out of poverty. The Industry Expansion Program is one of the tools that Manitoba will continue to use to generate employment opportunities, while focusing on long-term economic recovery from the pandemic. The program aligns with the province’s Economic Growth Action Plan and its Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy . Under this program, the Manitoba government provides funding to companies that are locating new operations or expanding existing operations in Manitoba so that they can train new employees or upskill existing employees.

Investing in skills development of the existing workforce ensures that employees grow with company needs, facilitates upward movement into higher paying positions and creates job vacancies, many of which are entry-level positions. Under the Workforce Development Program, the Manitoba government provides funding to companies to deliver internal training for both new and existing workers to gain skills and knowledge on proprietary products and processes, new equipment, new technology, to reduce error rates and improve quality, and/or to fill new job openings.

Path to Employment Through Skills Training

Apprenticeship Manitoba is working with Skills Manitoba to promote the skilled trades to youth. Skills Manitoba connects with schools from across Manitoba to promote the skilled trades to youth and target groups through a variety of presentations as part of its in-school program. This includes Hands-On – Try-a-Trade activities, where possible, to directly expose youth to the possibility of a career in the trades.

Manitoba committed $46.5 million in 2021/22 fiscal year to provide skills development supports to individuals to participate in skills training required to secure sustainable employment. Individuals can access skills development and other employment and training supports through a network of Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centres. Supports for unemployed, underemployed, and multi-barriered Manitobans are also available through community-based organizations funded to help individuals prepare for and obtain employment.

The government supports the work of 10 sector council organizations that meet the workforce needs of priority sectors in Manitoba. The Manitoba Construction Sector Council actively engages with First Nation communities in northern Manitoba to deliver job readiness, framer, finisher, flatwork, technician and heavy-equipment operator training in partnership with member associations and/or blast-hole drilling courses. In February 2021, they delivered a framer course to seven individuals in Bloodvein First Nation.

Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF) delivered a Commercial Fishing Industry Development-Capacity Training. Additionally, CEDF contributed with a capital fund to establish a community-based Computers for Schools Centre in Thompson. The government funded the Northern Manitoba Sector Council to establish the centre in collaboration with Computers for School Manitoba, CEDF, Community Futures North Central Development and Tech Manitoba. CEDF contributed to this initiative as part of Look North Action Plan implementation mandate. The centre, which has been operational since October 2021 with the priority to train Indigenous youth, aims to be the one-stop shop to offer on-the-job IT training, refurbish and distribute computers to the individuals, communities and organizations, and eliminate e-wastes associated with electronic devices. The centre is providing on-the-job training opportunities to five northern Indigenous youth at the centre.

The Cutting Edge is an innovative social enterprise and sewing machine operator training program developed by the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute (CMWI). The Cutting Edge provides industry related sewing training to 22 immigrant women who are in receipt of EIA. Trainees receive occupational specific training, workplace language training and exposure to the Canadian culture with the goal of securing full-time employment within the industry. Additionally, trainees have access to CMWI settlement-related services.

Manitoba offers a variety of programs to assist individuals with accessing employment opportunities and diverting clients from Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) including the Refugee Employment Development Initiative (REDI). Through the initiative, a network of service providers assists refugees who have low English-language proficiency and who are at risk of long-term dependence on income supports to acquire long-term employment. In 2021/22, the program provided services to more than 250 individuals, through a variety of supports including language skills upgrading, employment preparation with employment specific training and soft skills, and assistance accessing in-demand job opportunities.

As one of the province’s largest industries, manufacturing is key to Manitoba’s economic success. Ongoing skills shortages presents a clear concern for employers. Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) demand-led training is a government, industry and educational institution collaboration that will improve the skills and employability of participants currently receiving Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) by preparing them for entry-level positions in the manufacturing sector. Many of the potential EIA participants are not familiar with manufacturing. This project will demonstrate to EIA participants (a very diverse demographic) that manufacturing offers a range of obtainable and fulfilling career options. It will also address and reconcile outdated myths and misconceptions that individuals may hold about the sector (e.g., manufacturing is dark, dirty, dangerous and low skilled). As the sector council that represents Manitoba’s manufacturing sector, CME will engage employers and help secure employment for program participants.

Support for Adult Learners

Adult Learning and Literacy helps Manitobans improve their ability to understand and employ printed information in daily living activities at work, at home and in the community. Increasing literacy skills, through dedicated literacy and numeracy programming and through adult secondary programming, leads to reduced poverty and improves the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. It is well documented that children growing up in families in which the adults have low levels of education are more likely to have low literacy and numeracy levels. By increasing education attainment of adult learners, Manitoba is taking another step to break the cycle of poverty by increasing the education attainment levels of all members of the family. Adult Education programming assists Manitobans in obtaining high school credentials so they can access higher education and/or enter or better their employment opportunities. Programming is tuition-free for participants. Adult Learning and Literacy also administers the GED Testing Service in Manitoba, offering Manitobans an education equivalency certificate that allows them to gain employment, particularly in northern and remote locations.

Adult Learning and Literacy disbursed $20.3 million to 67 adult learning centres and literacy agencies throughout Manitoba. Adult Education programming is designed specifically for adult learners. Thirty per cent of learners are youth aged 19 to 24 years, 30 per cent are 25 to 34 years of age and 35 per cent are 35 years of age and older while 46 per cent are Indigenous. Thirty-two per cent report English as an additional language and 14 per cent are recent immigrants. Thirty-four and a half per cent have completed grade 12 or a GED certificate, while 59.5 per cent have a grade 11 education or less. Thirty per cent of learners attending an Adult Learning Centre or Literacy Program currently receive EI or EIA benefits while 41 per cent are employed full or part-time while also upgrading their skills and knowledge.

Urban and Hometown Green Team Program

Manitoba continues to provide grant funding for the Urban and Hometown Green Team program that supports summer employment for young Manitobans ages 15 to 29 years. This program gives young people the opportunity to gain valuable work experience as they help support important projects in communities.

Eligible recipients of the grant include non-profit organizations in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba, and municipal governments in rural Manitoba. The grants cover 100 per cent of wage costs plus $250 per position for non-profit organizations. Municipal governments receive 50 per cent of wage costs and $125 per position on cost-shared basis.

Funding for 2022 prioritizes full-time youth employment, projects that support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, and projects that respond to community needs and partnerships.

Trades Training for Indigenous Women

The Manitoba government is investing more than $800,000 to partner with the Manitoba Construction Sector Council to deliver a multi-faceted, skilled-trades training initiative for Indigenous women in four northern and remote communities.

The government is committed to advancing economic equality for women by supporting programs and initiatives that help more women succeed in non-traditional work industries that provide sustainable and reliable employment opportunities, and help to support healthy and vibrant communities.

Building Independence Program

The Manitoba government continues to invest in Building Independence Program that supports employment opportunities for persons in receipt of provincial Employment and Income Assistance benefits living in Northern Affairs communities. The program enables participants to maintain or develop skills that will enhance their success in finding long-term employment. Under this program, communities employ participants for community improvement projects or to fill a vacant community position. The projects help participants develop their work skills and gain experience.

Facilitating Partnerships and Supporting Community-Based Organizations

For Every Family Initiative

The For Every Family Initiative is a Manitoba-United Way of Winnipeg partnership aimed at enhancing preventative and community-based supports for families through increased funding to United Way of Winnipeg-funded Family Resource Centres and the development of an inter-agency network in Winnipeg. Funding has allowed for increased hours at Family Resource Centres, expanded Financial Empowerment programming and strengthened prevention programming.

The For Every Family Initiative has demonstrated considerable positive outcomes for families achieved in three key domains; early childhood development, increased household income and family resiliency.

Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Schools

A new pilot program is underway and will support engagement with Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Manitoba schools to promote the inclusion of First Nations, Métis and Inuit histories, culture traditional values, contemporary lifestyles and traditional knowledge in provincial curricula. This project affirms our government’s commitment to truth and reconciliation at all levels by increasing school divisions’ capacity to develop and strengthen respectful partnerships with Elders and Knowledge Keepers. The Manitoba government invested $275,000 in the pilot program, which will inform provincial implementation of the initiative. Manitoba will employ a full-time co-ordinator to implement this initiative and a further investment of $1.6 million is being made to expand the program provincially

Elders and Knowledge Keepers will provide mentorship for various group sizes on traditional teachings. They will enhance the connection between families and schools, and provide supports to create a culture of understanding and respect. Their voices are critical toward successful impacts for teachers, students and families through respectful relationships and approaches.

The pilot initiative was developed with input from the Elders and Knowledge Keepers in Schools Advisory Council, community consultations and conversations with school divisions within the Manitoba kindergarten to grade 12 system. The pilot program is currently being offered in 33 schools in school divisions including Flin Flon, Fort la Bosse, Frontier, Hanover, Lord Selkirk, Mountain View, Pembina Trails, Portage la Prairie, Prairie Rose, St. James-Assiniboia and the School District of Mystery Lake.

Building Sustainable Communities Program

The Manitoba government recognizes the importance of community-based organizations in building thriving and sustainable communities across the province. The Building Sustainable Communities (BSC) program provides community organizations with much-needed funding support for their development projects including planning, capital, capacity building, community initiatives, and recreation and equipment purchases. Eligible applicants for this funding include non-profit organizations, charitable organizations, municipalities and Northern Affairs community councils.

The program provides a grant contribution of 50 per cent of eligible project costs up to $75,000 and up to $300,000 for large capital projects. The most recent intake took place in early 2022, with projects to be announced later in the year.

As Manitoba emerges from the pandemic, the BSC program will promote economic development and build stronger communities across the province.

Buffalo Riders Program for Indigenous Youth

The Manitoba government is focused on providing supports to vulnerable Indigenous youth to help them succeed in their adult life.

Through the Substance Use and Addictions Program, the Canada and Manitoba governments are providing $350,000 over the next three years to the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation in support of the Buffalo Riders program, which provides early interventions for Indigenous youth at risk for substance use and addictions.

The program is a culturally safe early intervention that will be available in communities across the province. Developed from an Indigenous wisdom perspective, the goals of the program include:

  • increasing access to early intervention and evidence-informed interventions for at-risk youth or substance-using youth
  • improving community capacity to deliver early intervention services for at-risk or substance-using youth
  • increasing the use of early intervention services
  • decreasing substance use and harms associated with substance youth
  • decreasing the need for long-term intensive treatment services

Community Mobilization, Safety and Well-being

In partnership with community-based organizations, Manitoba continues to invest in initiatives that support community mobilization, safety and well-being. These initiatives include:

  • investments in Swan Valley Community Mobilization Initiative, Winkler Community Care Program, and Altona CommUNITY Support Team
  • funding for the development and implementation of Thompson’s Community Safety and Well-being Plan
  • supports for Ndinawe Child and Youth Care Practitioner Program
  • funding for Resource Assistance for Youth (RaY) for 2021/22 through 2023/24 to support RaY’s Justice Program

Family Violence Prevention Program

The Manitoba government continues to support the Family Violence Prevention Program (FVPP). This program plans and develops community programs that help stop family violence. The program provides funding to community-based organizations that offer special services for abused women and their children, and for men living with family violence.

The government is modernizing the crisis line system used by family violence shelters, improving the ability of those in need of support to access it and ensuring that shelter resources are allocated efficiently across the province. This includes a web-based chat platform that allows individuals experiencing violence to receive crisis line services.

In addition, the government is providing funding to End Homelessness Winnipeg to support onboarding the federal Homeless Individuals and Families Information System within the family violence shelter sector. This system allows for integrated information sharing across the shelter sector, as well as real-time access to information on available shelter beds across the system.

Family Violence Emergency Shelter Funding

The Manitoba government is committed to protecting Manitobans – women, children and men – from family violence, and helping them escape actual or threatened physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse.

The family violence emergency shelters provide victims of family violence a safe place where they can get help and connect with supports that they need. Recognizing the challenges faced by family violence shelters to sustain the delivery of important services to Manitobans affected by family violence, the government is providing $3.25 million net new funding in 2022/23. This funding will support the implementation of an improved and equitable funding model across the family-violence shelter sector in Manitoba.

The Manitoba government will continue to work in partnership with family-violence shelter agencies to ensure the safety and well-being of Manitobans at risk from domestic violence.

Strengthening Client-Centred Service Delivery

Victims Assistance Community Grants Inc.

The ability to access a full continuum of supports and services is essential to helping victims of crime and their families heal from their traumatic experiences.

To expand the supports to victims of crime and their families, the Manitoba government has provided $5 million to Victims Assistance Community Grants Inc., a new community-led non-profit corporation. The corporation will use the funding to assist community-based organizations across Manitoba to enhance their supports and delivery of services to people who are victims of crime. This funding will be fully expended by the corporation over a period of five years. The corporation is mandated to administer funds to support specific groups that are most impacted by crime, including Indigenous peoples, who are disproportionately victimized in Manitoba.

Restorative Justice

The Manitoba government continues to support restorative justice and Victim Services continues to provide more comprehensive support to domestic violence victims whose partners are involved in restorative justice proceedings.

Healing Village for Indigenous Women

Addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls and incidences of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is a top priority for the Manitoba government.

The government is providing $3 million funding to the Clan Mothers, a grassroots, Indigenous women-led organization to support the construction of a healing village, which will provide supports for women who are victims of multi-generational trauma, sexual violence, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The healing village will incorporate a traditional matrilineal, land-based model of healing into a community environment focused on learning and developing skills that will help prepare the women for leaving the village.

The first phase of the project included site inspections, land surveys and the building of ceremonial structures. The plan for the second phase is to break ground in spring of 2022 including the construction of living quarters and kitchen areas.

The project responds to growing community needs for intensive, long-term, culturally based support that aligns with Manitoba’s Gender-Based Violence Framework’s key objectives of prevention, support and intervention.

Indigenous-Led Health Initiative

The Manitoba government is adding a new initiative to
its sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections services to better respond to the health needs of Indigenous people.

The government is investing up to $2.3 million over three years to support the development and implementation of an Indigenous-led sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections testing and contact strategy. The initiative will be developed by Indigenous health experts and delivered by Ka Ni Kanichihk, an Indigenous community organization with a strong track record in helping Manitoba’s Indigenous communities. This initiative will enable culturally safe care that is crucial to addressing the unique health needs of Indigenous people effectively.

Client-Centric and Assessment-Informed Approach to Financial Assistance

The Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) program is committed to using a client-centric, assessment-informed approach to provide financial assistance.

Continuing to implement the EIA Case Management Framework, the program focuses on the actions of engaging, assessing and connecting clients to helping supports to promote independence, mitigation of barriers and community participation.

The program’s assessment-informed practice involves engaging with clients regularly, assessing their circumstances through standardized tools, and ultimately connecting them to appropriate programming options in the community to support movement toward independence from the program as well as greater wellness and planning for future.

Supports to Families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Manitoba’s Victims Services developed a Family Information Liaison Unit to provide supports to families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) as a parallel investment to the national inquiry. An expansion of these services was awarded in April 2021, under the Victims of Crime Call for Proposals. The Manitoba Métis Federation was a successful proponent for the development of the Métis MMWIG Family Support Project. The other is the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak MMWIG
Liaison Unit.

The Manitoba government continues to work with partners to implement the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action, MMWIG calls to justice, and to co-design services with Indigenous right’s holder organizations, communities and Indigenous service providers.

Modernizing Family Law Services

The Manitoba government is committed to modernizing family law services through legislative change and service innovations. A new Family Law Manitoba website consolidates information and services in one easy to navigate location. The Family Law Collaboration Table, a partnership of private, public and community service providers, will continue to inform further changes by identifying and closing gaps for families involved in multiple systems such as child and family services, civil, restorative justice and criminal. The Family Resolution Service will continue to work in partnership with Legal Aid Manitoba and the private bar to support families who seek to resolve their conflicts by consensus and require independent legal advice.

Making Positive Change Through Social Innovation

Social Impact Bonds

The Manitoba government’s Social Innovation Office (SIO) enables the creation of unique and impactful solutions to complex social problems often experienced by vulnerable populations through social innovation and the development of social impact bonds (SIBs.) In 2022/23, the SIO will continue to support six SIBs at various stages of development, launch an engagement plan with the philanthropic community, initiate the development of new SIBs and administer solution labs to support government in achieving strategic priorities. Two such SIBs are profiled below.

Women’s Heart Health:

Poverty is closely tied to the health of an individual. Poor health inhibits a person’s ability to maintain a viable employment and increases their risk of living in poverty. The Manitoba government is partnering with the
Reh-Fit Centre and Victoria General Hospital Foundation to deliver a women’s heart health social impact bond (SIB), a three-year program, set to launch in spring 2022. The program, tailored to women, is aimed at reducing heart disease for women in Manitoba by improving behavioural and biometric measures that research has identified as major contributors to increasing the risk of heart disease. The project objectives aim to reduce systolic blood pressure and increase physical activity, aligning to the government’s commitment to promote wellness and chronic disease prevention to improve the health outcomes for Manitobans.

Restoring the Sacred Bond:

In 2018/19, the Department of Families partnered with the Southern First Nations Network of Care to deliver the landmark social impact bond in Manitoba, Restoring the Sacred Bond. The two-year project concluded in December 2021 and connected over 100 expecting mothers assessed to be high risk of infant apprehension to Indigenous birth helpers who provided intense supports. This initiative provided preventative care for expecting Indigenous mothers through a culturally appropriate lens as called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and generated positive outcomes for the families it served. An evaluation of the program is underway and will be released in 2022/23.

Energy Efficiency Assistance Program

Efficiency Manitoba, a Crown corporation, offers multiple ways for lower-income households to make their energy bills more affordable. As lower-income households may be more likely to experience energy poverty, they can often lack the resources needed to invest in more efficient technologies or rebate programs needed to address their energy burden. Efficiency Manitoba’s Energy Efficiency Assistance Program reduces and/or eliminates the financial requirements to make energy efficiency upgrades.

The Energy Efficiency Assistance Program provides a free home energy checkup to identify energy savings opportunities to reduce energy bills. At the home energy checkup, households receive small energy savings items such as LEDs and water-saving devices. They can then receive energy efficiency upgrades such as free insulation, a new natural gas furnace for either $9.50/month for five years (when replacing a standard-efficiency natural gas furnace), or $25/month for five years (when replacing a mid-efficiency natural gas furnace). Households with a standard-efficiency natural gas boiler can receive a $3,000 rebate if they upgrade to a high-efficiency boiler. The program also provides a decluttering service for those households where health or mobility may be a factor that limits access to completing energy-efficiency upgrades. The program offers a turnkey solution with pre-qualified contractors to deliver these services as another way to reduce barriers and burden for these households. The contractors invoice Efficiency Manitoba directly, removing the worry of payment or upfront costs.

Within the Energy Efficiency Assistance Program is the Neighbourhood Energy Efficiency Project. For this project, partnerships are formed with community groups to fund an energy efficiency advocate in neighbourhoods with higher incidence of lower-income households to increase accessibility to energy efficiency. The current project partners are the North End Community Renewal Corporation and the Chalmers Renewal Corporation. Working at the community level, the advocate can speak to residents and landlords by canvassing the neighbourhood or holding workshops to encourage participation in the Energy Efficiency Assistance Program.

To address energy bills for Indigenous households on reserve, Efficiency Manitoba offers the First Nation Insulation and Direct Install Program. This program works with First Nation communities to subsidize the cost to insulate homes and provides free energy-saving measures such as LEDs, water-saving devices, pipe wrap, and socket caps and draft stoppers. In addition to these upgrades, the program also works with the community to find and pay local labour solutions, including community members to perform the work, assisting in capacity enhancement and training opportunities.

COVID-19 Response: Protecting And Supporting Manitobans In Need

As the threat of COVID-19 remains, the Manitoba government continues to give priority to the health and safety of Manitobans. In 2022, the Manitoba government will build upon existing efforts to provide protection and support to Manitobans, especially the vulnerable Manitobans who are most at risk and in greatest need.

Vaccine Implementation Task Force

Because of findings from consultations with representatives from Indigenous organizations, community organizations and unsheltered populations, the Vaccine Implementation Task Force (VITF) implemented measures to address obstacles for uptake of vaccination (e.g., Indigenous peoples’ historical experiences and racism, language and barriers associated with low income). Liaison and outreach workers are being hired for most vaccination sites and six clinics have been established in partnership with community organizations in four communities. The Indigenous-led sites will have a strong community focus and will provide transportation support, food, medication, activity kits/child minding and will integrate Elders and/or Knowledge Keepers and, where feasible, will offer smudging and/or other traditional ceremonies.

RAAM Clinic Expansion and Mental Health Supports

The Manitoba government is investing more than $819,000 to increase the capacity of Winnipeg’s two Rapid Access
to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinics to deal with increased demand for addictions services during the pandemic. RAAM clinics are drop-in clinics for people looking to get help with high-risk substance use and addictions. This includes people who want to try medical assistance to reduce or stop their substance use. They may experience frequent intoxication or overdose symptoms, as well as unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. RAAM clinics are also for people who may have substance-related health issues, such as hepatitis, pancreatitis, and infections, among others.

The Manitoba government is committing up to $2 million in partnership with the United Way Winnipeg, to support community organizations in addressing increased mental health, wellness and recovery needs as a result of the pandemic. This investment will support the timely and accessible delivery of a variety of mental health, substance-use and addictions supports, as well as wellness and health promotion programs. The partnership will fund programs for one to three years, with a particular focus on reducing service wait times, supporting Indigenous service organizations, and providing training/competency building for service providers.

Youth Hub Expansion

Manitoba is committed to improving access to mental health and addictions support for Manitoba’s youth who are struggling with the effects of the pandemic.

The Manitoba government, Shared Health and a group of philanthropic partners led by United Way Winnipeg are expanding Integrated Youth Services in Manitoba by awarding five additional Youth Hub sites. The Youth Hub facility provides low-barrier, integrated services for young people and their families at a single easy-to-access location. A network of organizations and service providers work closely together to provide youth-centred services across a continuum of care so that young people can access all the core health services they need in one place.

Main Street Project

The Manitoba and federal governments have provided $1.5 million in funding to Main Street Project (MSP) for a COVID-19 expansion of its shelter facility in Winnipeg’s inner city. Although more work is needed to support Manitoba’s homeless population, the MSP’s expanded facility will help more people find a safe place to stay and to receive support especially in the colder winter months. With the completion of its facility expansion, MSP has increased its overnight shelter beds to 120 from 70 mats, while allowing for physical distancing.

Home Nutrition and Learning Program

The Home Nutrition and Learning Program (HNLP) supports families with school-aged children who are experiencing food disruption as a result of the pandemic by providing them with weekly boxes containing nutritious breakfast foods and simple, child-friendly recipes and learning activities. All materials and foods were created by or based on guidelines established by the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba.

Since June 2020, the government has partnered with agencies at five pilot sites in Brandon, Winnipeg, Cross Lake and the Bayline region to deliver the HNLP.

Supports to Businesses and Promoting Employment

In 2021-22, the Manitoba government administered a continuum of COVID-19 programming to provide Manitoba businesses with supports to meet their evolving needs. Manitoba has committed $38 million in wage supports through Healthy Hire Manitoba, which amalgamated with the Manitoba Youth Jobs program and has supported over 3,600 employers.

With a government commitment of $9.5 million, the Manitoba Pandemic Sick Leave is helping employers cover employee COVID-19 related sick leave costs. After a successful initial phase, the program was extended to March 31, 2022. As of February 2022, the program has provided $5.08 million to 1,953 employers to support 19,674 employees.

The Manitoba government also implemented the $22-million Sector Support Program to provide grant assistance to businesses directly impacted by the COVID-19 public health order restrictions implemented in
December 2021.

Manitoba Public Insurance Rebate

Recognizing that Manitobans continue to face financial challenges amid the pandemic, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is providing financial assistance to its customers.

MPI issued rebates to its policyholders for the third time in mid- to late-February 2022, totalling approximately $312 million. Overall, MPI has returned nearly $500 million to Manitobans in three rebates since the start of the pandemic.

MPI will continue to put the needs of its customers first, while ensuring that it remains financially stable to provide among the lowest insurance premiums in Canada.

Progress Indicators

As mandated by the Poverty Reduction Strategy Act, Pathways to a Better Future: Manitoba’s Poverty Reduction Strategy establishes a set of 13 poverty and social inclusion indicators to measure the progress of the strategy.

Included in this set of indicators is the Market Basket Measure (MBM), Canada’s official poverty measure. The MBM is used to measure the poverty rate in Manitoba and the success of the strategy against its target. The other indicators provide a multi-dimensional lens of tracking the progress of the strategy in areas that are strongly related to poverty such as employment, education, skills, training, child care, child welfare, health, housing and income inequality.

The extensive consultations with stakeholders and the federal measurement framework provided valuable insights into the development of Manitoba’s poverty indicators. Eight out of the 13 indicators of Manitoba’s strategy are aligned with the federal strategy indicators, which will allow comparison with national trends and with other provinces and support the collaborative work with the federal government to reduce poverty.

Manitoba’s poverty reduction indicators were formally registered in regulation under the Poverty Reduction Strategy Act in May 2019. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Annual Report publishes the data on these indicators to present the performance of the strategy every year.