Government of Canada assists Manitoba COVID-19 response

News release

May 24, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario

Throughout the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada has worked closely with the provinces and territories and continues to provide significant support to ensure that the health and safety of Canadians is protected.

Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Bill Blair; the Minister of Health, the Honourable Patty Hajdu; and the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, confirmed that the Government of Canada will be providing a range of supports to Manitoba in anticipation of a Request for Federal Assistance to support the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government Operations Centre is working to coordinate the federal response to the situation in Manitoba and Canadians can be assured that all orders of government are working together to deliver the required help.

In anticipation of this Request for Federal Assistance, the Government of Canada is preparing a number of actions: It will deploy federal health human resources, deploy medical staff through the Canadian Red Cross; and, provide support from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

The Government of Canada is also prepared to deploy epidemiologists, public health capacity, laboratory technicians and increased testing capacity from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Health Canada (HC) to respond to needs identified by Manitoba. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) has responded to all 17 Requests for Federal Assistance from Manitoba. The NESS has allocated over 37 million units of personal protective equipment, vaccine ancillary supplies and other medical equipment to Manitoba, including nitrile gloves, disposable gowns, face shields, N95 respirators and surgical masks. Manitoba is expected to request additional biomedical equipment which the NESS expects to be able to supply. 


“Protecting the health and safety of Canadians during the pandemic continues to be the government’s top priority. A critical part of our fight against COVID-19 is the support we have provided to provinces and territories. Today, departments and agencies across the federal government have again come together to support our fellow citizens in Manitoba. I would like to thank front-line workers, and all Canadians alike, for their ongoing work to keep each other safe.”

- The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“The Government of Canada will continue to work closely with Manitoba, and all provinces and territories, to provide the support needed to help protect the health of Canadians. The human and health equipment resources we are providing will help to reduce the impact of this third wave of COVID-19 in Manitoba.”

- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

“The Canadian Armed Forces is there to provide support to Canadians when it is needed most. Throughout the pandemic we have worked alongside provincial government partners to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Our people in uniform have always answered the call and stand ready to do so for Manitobans.”

- The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence 

Quick facts

  • Statistics Canada is providing an additional 50 interviewers to the province of Manitoba, for a total of up to 120 employees, to help trace people who’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19.

  • The Canadian Armed Forces continue to support vaccine rollout in up to 23 on-reserve Indigenous communities in Manitoba until the end of June. 

  • Since last fall, the Canadian Armed Force were also regularly deployed in eight Manitoba First Nations communities through various requests for assistance.

  • A Request for Federal Assistance (RFA) is how a province or territory formally requests support from the federal government in their emergency response efforts. An RFA is initiated when an emergency event overwhelms or threatens to overwhelm the resources of a province or territory and federal government help is needed to effectively support the impacted region. The province or territory submits a formal RFA to describe what they would need in federal government support for a successful emergency response as well as the termination criteria.

  • Since March 2020, the Government of Canada has supported 78 Requests for Federal Assistance from provinces and territories.

  • In November 2020, Manitoba requested federal support to assist in the COVID-19 response in long term care homes. The federal government approved this request, and Red Cross support was originally provided until January 15, 2021. The estimated cost is $2.1M. The Government of Canada has extended this arrangement to June 30, 2021.

  • As of May 2021, approximately $137.6 million of the up to $170 million available for Canadian Red Cross support has been committed towards capacity building projects and supporting assistance to provinces and territories. This includes investments made to help the Red Cross build capacity ($64.3 million) to ensure readiness to deploy. Public Safety Canada has funded Canadian Red Cross projects that support Provinces and Territories following a request made for federal assistance, including $4.23M for Manitoba.

Associated links


James Cudmore
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

Cole Davidson
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada

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