Support small business this holiday season


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/12/2020 (896 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

This holiday season will be unlike any other we have ever experienced. Manitobans are struggling. Since the pandemic began, families and workers have continually been making sacrifices for the greater good. Business owners, in Fort Rouge and across the province, have been hit hard as they adjust to public health restrictions to keep Manitobans safe.

Manitobans deserve a government that matches their commitment. One that steps up and does everything it can to protect lives and livelihoods. The Pallister government has failed to do this. We have already lost local businesses here in Fort Rouge, businesses that were central to our community. The premier has had so many opportunities to make life easier for Manitobans during this pandemic, but instead has made life harder for regular families.

He cut over 11,000 jobs at the start of the pandemic. He refused to extend the ban on rent increases and evictions, leaving thousands of Manitobans at risk of losing shelter as winter approaches. He has failed to listen to small businesses and give them what they need, opting instead for token programs with complicated applications and minimal relief for entrepreneurs who are months behind on expenses and at risk of closing their doors for good.

Regular families and small businesses are not Pallister’s priority. He underspent the Manitoba Gap Prevention program by tens of millions of dollars and the Manitoba Job Restart Program by hundreds of millions. He also wasted $425,000 on his failed economic ad campaigns over the summer. And now he’s pretending that his Manitoba Bridge Grant program, which offers a meagre $5,000 to businesses, will save small business owners who are months behind on rent, paying for PPE out of pocket, and taking a loss on massive amounts of product that can’t be sold.

It is not too late for the premier to provide substantive relief to small businesses. As dire as things might seem right now, we will get through this. A recovery that includes all Manitobans is possible — but only if the Pallister government chooses to step up and match the commitment Manitobans have already made to support each other through these challenging times.

Contact my office at 204-615-1922 or email me at


Wab Kinew

Wab Kinew
Fort Rouge constituency report

Wab Kinew is the NDP MLA for Fort Rouge and leader of the Manitoba New Democratic Party.

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