News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

March 11, 2021

Statement from Premier Brian Pallister on the One-Year Anniversary of the COVID-19 Pandemic

One year ago today, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global public health emergency, and the following day on March 12, 2020, Manitoba announced its first presumptive positive COVID-19 case. Since that day, our lives have forever been changed, especially for the family and friends of the 908 Manitobans who tragically lost their battle to COVID-19.

On this day, we reflect on the Manitobans we have lost and will miss; and also acknowledge the thousands of Manitobans we have saved and will treasure. 

As a government and as Manitobans, we have learned the hard lessons and we are not the same people we were last fall. Unlike most Canadian jurisdictions, Manitoba did not experience a significant ‘first wave’, as nearly 70 per cent of Manitoba’s total case count was detected between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.

As a government, we addressed the needs of our health-care system including workforce flow, securing personal protective equipment (PPE), and scaling up COVID-19 testing sites and contact tracing.

As Manitobans, we learned how to work and learn from home. We learned how to embrace technology and explore the outdoors. We learned how to be creative and innovative. We learned how to follow the fundamentals; we learned how to save lives.
We recognize the significant sacrifices all Manitobans have made to protect their loved ones and their community, which is why we have led the country in providing direct financial supports for businesses and Manitobans.

Our number one priority in the face of this pandemic is to protect our most vulnerable Manitobans and ensure our health-care system is there for all Manitobans when they need it, now and well after this pandemic.

While there is much hope on the horizon with the advancements of COVID-19 vaccines, I must remind Manitobans that we still have long way to go before all Manitobans are fully protected from this deadly virus. We must continue to follow the advice of our public health experts that have enabled us to bend our COVID curve down and save thousands of lives.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to the leaders and members of Manitoba’s COVID-19 Response Team, Manitoba’s Vaccine Implementation Task Force, the First Nations Pandemic Response Coordination Team and every single Manitoban on the front line of this pandemic for your dedication, commitment and compassion for your fellow Manitobans.

I am confident that in the years ahead, Manitobans will look back on this moment in our province’s history and they will be proud of their efforts. I know I am.

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