Westman’s MLAs have recently had a firsthand look at just how popular free personal protective equipment supplies are among their constituents.
Some MLAs were given boxes of KN95 ventilator masks to distribute to residents in their respective regions.
The Sun contacted all of the MLAs south of Riding Mountain National Park to learn more about the distribution process. For the MLAs who did receive boxes of masks, the demand was healthy.
On Sunday, Brandon East Progressive Conservative MLA Len Isleifson had a long line waiting outside the Green Acres Community Centre that mostly cleared out within 15 minutes, taking one box per family.
He told the Sun on Monday via email that he only had a small quantity of masks left to be handed out through his constituency office.
"I am sure they won’t last long," he wrote, also thanking the community centre for its help in distributing the masks.
In the constituency of Agassiz, PC MLA Eileen Clarke told the Sun she’d received two cases of masks containing 50 boxes, with 20 masks in each box.
"They are going quickly to seniors and young families," Clarke wrote in an email.
"We limit one box per household and no pushback in that at all. I’m very pleased with the sincere thank yous I’m receiving from the recipients. I’m pleased overall talking to constituents and how compliant they are to the health protocols. This is very reassuring."
Turtle Mountain PC MLA Doyle Piwniuk stated he hadn’t received a supply of masks to hand out.
Meanwhile, the office for Spruce Woods MLA Cliff Cullen said he hadn’t received enough masks to hold any sort of public event to give them away.
Greg Nesbitt, the PC MLA for Riding Mountain, wrote in an email that his constituency’s supply of masks is still in Winnipeg and his team is trying to co-ordinate shipping and distribution for the region.
"We will be updating constituents through my Facebook page when we have a plan in place," Nesbitt wrote.
The office of Brandon West MLA and Central Services Minister Reg Helwer told the Sun there was a steady demand for the masks they received, though no more details surrounding the giveaways were provided.
The minister’s Facebook page said his constituency office was giving away masks on Jan. 1 and 2 with a limit of one box per family.
Central Services, which is responsible for mask and rapid test distribution, added that the government "is evaluating supply to see if more opportunities are available for distribution."
On Monday, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that a program organized by Helwer’s department to distribute rapid tests to businesses in capital through the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has been put on hold.
» Twitter: @ColinSlark