Updated: March 24, 2020

Regional Connections Updates

Regional Connections English classes and group activities are cancelled until further notice.

If you have traveled internationally, to another province, or are feeling sick, you need to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days. Call Health Links at 1-888-315-9257 if you have cold or flu symptoms.

If you’re feeling healthy, you can come to Regional Connections in Winkler or Altona – we’re practicing social distancing and regularly cleaning our offices.

You can contact us at 204-325-4059 (Winkler/Morden) or 204-324-6858 (Altona) or any time! We have staff working in offices and from home to help you.

These are our office hours for the week of March 23, 2020:

Winkler Office

  • Monday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Wednesday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM-6:00 PM
  • Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM

Morden Office

Closed until further notice, please come to or contact our Winkler office.

Altona Office

  • Monday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Wednesday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Friday – Closed
  • Please note that Service Canada has cancelled services at Regional Connections Altona until further notice

Manitoba COVID-19 Information

Social Distancing

  • Keep in-person contact with other people to 10 minutes or less
  • Stand at least 2 metres or 6 feet apart from other people in public
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
  • Don’t shake hands or touch other people in public
  • Try not to touch your face
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Disinfect surfaces regularly
  • If you have traveled internationally or are feeling sick stay home (self-quarantine) and contact Health Links at 1-888-315-9257
  • Try the online screening tool to see if you should get tested:

Manitoba State of Emergency

A State of Emergency means some things that were a recommendation (good things to do) are now mandatory (you must do them) for the next 30 days. These things include:

  • Businesses must make sure people have 1-2 metres of space between them, for example in line-ups at the grocery store
  • No group gatherings of 50+ people
  • Restaurants and movie theatres can only be 50% full
  • Fitness clubs and gaming centres must close
  • For more information, visit the website or contact Regional Connections to talk to a Settlement Worker

COVID-19 and Immigration Processing

COVID-19 is affecting applications and processing for Canadian citizenship, permanent residency, and temporary visas. For current information from IRCC, please check

COVID-19 is also affecting regular IRCC support services:

If you have any questions about your immigration status or IRCC support, please contact us at Regional Connections and a Settlement Worker will help you.

Canada’s Economic Response Plan

Employment Insurance

  • EI sickness benefits apply to those impacted by COVID-19 (personally or a family member)
    • EI sickness benefits provide up to 15 weeks of income replacement of up to $573 per week
    • EI sicknes benefits changes for COVID-19 EI claims include:
      • The mandatory one week waiting period is waived, benefits may begin immediately after work stoppage. Effective as of March 15.
      • A medical certificate is not required, only a Record Of Employment
      • After submitting the online claim, claimants call 1-833-381-2725 to have the one week waiting period waived
  • EI regular benefits are for people who are healthy and able to work. Your workplace may have lay-offs because of COVID-19, but if you yourself are healthy and able to work, you apply for regular EI benefits at
  • Apply online
    • We can help with your online EI claim! Staff and computers at Regional Connections are available to support online applications for all local residents (not just newcomers) – call 204-325-4059 for an appointment

Emergency Care Benefit

  • Information and details about this benefit are still being released, we don’t have complete information yet
  • This is a new benefit announced by the government as a COVID-19 response
  • Up to $900 every two weeks for up to 15 weeks
  • This benefit is for:
    • Workers & self-employed who do not qualify for EI and who are off work and at home for COVID-19 reasons (personal or family member)
    • Parents at home caring for kids during school closures can apply whether they qualify for EI or not.
  • Application for Emergency Care Benefit will be online and available in April through one of three options:
    • CRA MyAccount online
    • My Service Canada Account online
    • Toll free number (not announced yet)

GST Credits

  • Will double maximum annual payments for 2019-20 benefit year
  • Those benefitting will be $400 for single individuals and $600 for couples

Canada Child Benefit

  • Families receiving CCB will receive an additional $300 per child in May 2020

Income Tax Filing Date

  • Personal filing deadline pushed back to June 1, 2020
  • Income taxes owed – payments deferred until after August 31, 2020 without penalty


  • Major Canadian banks will defer mortgage payments for 6 months without penalty

Scam Alert

There have been reports of phishing scams related to COVID-19. Many are asking people for credit card information to provide medication for a positive test result. This is not a call that Manitobans would receive from public health officials. Do not provide any financial data, hang up on the call, and report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at (toll-free) 1-888-495-8501. You can also contact us at Regional Connections if someone has called you to ask for financial information after a COVID-19 test.