UPDATE: B.C. premier announces $1,000 payment for those unable to work due to COVID-19 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: B.C. premier announces $1,000 payment for those unable to work due to COVID-19

John Horgan BC NDP
Image Credit: Stock Image
March 23, 2020 - 12:56 PM

The provincial government will give each person unable to work because of COVID-19 a one-time $1,000 payment.

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Minister of Finance Carole James announced the news at a press conference today, March 23, as part of a $5-billion COVID-19 action plan.

"There has to be hope as we get through these challenging times," he told a news conference at the legislature. "I firmly believe by working together all of us will get through this."

A dozen members of the B.C. legislature — which has 87 members — from the minority government New Democrats, the Opposition Liberals and the Green party met Monday to pass two pieces of legislation. The legislative measures allow the government to change employment standards to ensure nobody loses their job due to COVID-19 and gives the province the authority to spend the money in its plan.

Premier Horgan said the $1,000 payment would be available for anyone who had been laid-off or couldn't work because of COVID-19, including workers who currently do not qualify for Employment Insurance.

Horgan also announced an increase to the B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit, which would be $218 per adult and $64 per child. The payment is due to be paid in July.

The premier also said there would be support for renters, and details on this would be announced March 25.

"People need help now. Businesses need help now," said Horgan. "In extraordinary times, extraordinary measures are required."

Finance Minister Carole James said the plan is a starting point and will "evolve as the situation evolves."

Part of the action plan will also see B.C. student loan repayments frozen until September. The premier also said people would be able to defer their B.C. Hydro bills. ICBC payments could be deferred for 90 days with no penalty.

Businesses will be able to defer their employer health tax payments until September. The deadline for businesses paying PST and other taxes has been extended until September.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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