Manitoba Signs Contract with G4S Canada to Bolster Enforcement Efforts

Province protecting Manitobans by deploying new personnel as part of COVID-19 compliance strategy.
Manitoba Gov

NEWS RELEASE - MANITOBA

The province has signed a contract with G4S Canada to boost COVID-19 public health order enforcement efforts to help protect Manitobans during this critical time in the pandemic, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

“The vast majority of Manitobans are stepping up and following the fundamentals to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community. We’re targeting those who refuse to follow public health advice and put others at risk,” said Pallister. “Today is another step in our enforcement efforts to help protect our most vulnerable Manitobans and ensure our health-care system is there for all Manitobans, when they need it.”

Once fully operational, it is anticipated G4S will provide upwards of 90 personnel to bolster the complement of provincial employees enforcing public health orders.

Over the weekend, the Manitoba government deployed a team of provincial employees dedicated to public health order enforcement. These employees had more than 225 interactions with a wide variety of businesses, organizations and individuals.

Across the province during the past week, a total of 32 tickets were issued for various offences including large gathering sizes, failure to quarantine and a northern travel violation.

Specialized training through Commissionaires Manitoba is underway for a number of G4S personnel along with provincial employees who are being redeployed to dedicated COVID-19 enforcement efforts. A total of 68 individuals have already been trained, with approximately 80 people scheduled to complete the program this week.

“I would like to thank all of our front-line personnel, including police, our environment and conservation officers, public health and Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority inspectors, municipal bylaw officers, and security officers, and everyone who is working hard to stop those who are disregarding public health measures aimed at keeping Manitobans safe,” Pallister said. “We all have a role to play in bending our COVID curve down, and I am confident that if we keep working together as ‘Team Manitoba’ we will be back to beating COVID again.”

Manitobans are encouraged to contact the province’s enhanced tip line to voice their concerns and share information about possible breaches of public health orders.

Manitobans can report compliance and enforcement issues by visiting www.manitoba.ca/COVID19 and completing the reporting form, or by calling 204-945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862 (toll-free) and pressing option three on the call menu.

The premier noted that unfortunately, there have been a number of instances where individuals are raising concerns unrelated to possible breaches of public health orders, and in some cases, calls that border on frivolous.

“We need Manitobans to call the tip line appropriately in order to help ensure we’re utilizing our resources in the most effective way possible,” Pallister said.

Since April 9, there have been over 13,500 calls from citizens to report concerns.

A total of 46 communities applied to the first intake of the province’s Municipal Enforcement Support Program, which was announced on Nov. 6, resulting in 91 bylaw officers being deployed to enforcement efforts to this point. The program will provide over $2.5 million in direct financial support and ticket revenue to municipalities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. The application intake period will be extended to expand the reach of this program to other communities.

The program provides municipalities with access to funding, accelerated training and a provincial co-ordination network for any existing or new personnel that will directly enforce public health orders. Municipalities will also receive 100 per cent of the ticket revenue from tickets issued to violators of public health orders and upheld by the courts.

In all, almost 3,300 personnel across various enforcement agencies are empowered to enforce public health orders including the RCMP, municipal police agencies, the Health Protection Unit, Manitoba Conservation and Climate, Workplace Safety and Health, and the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority.

Source: Government of Manitoba - Read the original press release here.

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