Traffic fines and BC Hydro COVID-19 Relief Fund deadlines nearing!
Trudeau: Federal Wage Subsidy to be extended to December 2020Date:July 13, 2020
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today the federal government is extending the emergency wage subsidy program to December of this year. The program covers 75 percent of wages, up to a weekly maximum of $847, for workers at eligible companies and nonprofits affected by the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This week we'll be announcing an extension to the wage subsidy program until December, to give greater certainty and support to businesses as we restart the economy," said Trudeau.
Supreme Court registries to re-open for in-person services and end COVID urgent hearing process July 13, 2020; Court of Appeal extends filing deadline suspensions to July 27, 2020Date:July 8, 2020
Effective July 13, 2020, in-person registry services will resume at all Supreme Court registries in British Columbia, and the interim process that the Court established for requesting a hearing of an urgent or essential matter will no longer be available. While in-person filing is available, parties are strongly encouraged to use e-filing, or one of the other methods.
Urgent matters: With the resumption of chambers as set out in COVID-19 Notice No. 28 dated June 5, 2020, as of June 18, 2020 the Request for Urgent Hearing process is only available for urgent applications on short notice ("short leave applications") under Rule 8-5 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules and Rule 10-9 of the Supreme Court Family Rules. Other applications should be made through regular chambers.
Also, on July 7, the BC Court of Appeal extended deadline suspensions until July 27 2020. Parties may now request that their appeal hearing proceed in a courtroom or by Zoom videoconference. For more information, see the Notice to the Public Regarding the Court of Appeal for British Columbia’s Response to COVID-19.
Emergency supports extended for vulnerable peopleDate:July 8, 2020
The Province is extending federal employment insurance exemptions and the provincial temporary crisis supplement. These extensions will help ensure people on income or disability assistance and low-income seniors will continue to have access to the supports they need during the pandemic. This exemption, which now includes the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (effective May 1, 2020), has been extended for the duration of these federal emergency support programs so that eligible people will continue to fully benefit without any reductions to their monthly income or disability assistance payments.
For those who are not eligible for the federal benefits, the Province’s temporary COVID-19 Crisis Supplement, which has been provided since April, will be extended an additional two months. This supplement will continue to be provided to low-income seniors receiving the BC Seniors Supplement and income assistance and disability recipients residing in special care facilities. No action is required from recipients. The temporary $300 crisis supplement will continue to be automatically applied to cheques distributed July 22 and Aug. 26, 2020. Click HERE for more information.
New temporary process to allow for changes to a child or spousal support agreement or order of the Provincial CourtDate:July 6, 2020
Starting on July 2, 2020 and for a limited time as we deal with the challenges of COVID-19, there is a new process to change a child or spousal support agreement or order of the Provincial Court. This process is only for situations where support needs to change because income has changed since January 2020 as a result of COVID-19. Other issues, such as parenting arrangements or changes to child or spousal support for reasons that are not related to COVID-19 will not use this process. If you reach an agreement out of court, this service can help you document it, including preparing a written agreement or consent order package for the court, if applicable.
To get started, contact the Family Justice Services Division (FJSD) to schedule your individual needs assessment at 1-844-747-3963 or CSVariation@gov.bc.ca (B.C.-wide) or 250-356-7012 (Victoria). For more information, see HERE.
Note: If you need a protection order or have an urgent matter concerning a child’s safety or well-being or where irreparable harm will occur if it is not heard quickly, do not use the support variation process. See “How can I get a protection order in BC during the COVID-19 Coronavirus?”
Provincial Court to return to pre-COVID court process for having urgent matters come before the court; more filings urged to be made via email, mail or faxDate:July 2, 2020
Starting July 2 traffic court filings can be made by email, mail or fax. Starting July 8 Provincial Court family and criminal court filings can be made by email, mail or fax. Starting July 13 small claims filings can be made by email, mail, fax or using CSO. And there’s a new, faster process for applications to change child or spousal support orders related to COVID – See Notice NP19 (July 2) for details.
80% of BC families get additional $450 with boosted climate action tax creditDate:July 2, 2020
Starting this week, more than 80% of families and individuals in British Columbia will automatically receive an enhanced climate action tax credit.
Eligible individuals will receive up to $218, children will receive up to $64 in a one-time increase and a family of four will receive up to $564. That is a $174.50 boost for individuals, a $51.25 increase for children and a lift of $451.50 for a family of four – double the annual amount eligible households would have received prior to B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan.
Prior to BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan, the scheduled July payment was up to $43.50 per adult and up to $12.75 per child. An eligible family of four was set to receive up to $112.50. British Columbians will receive the climate action tax credit along with their federal GST/HST returns. Those who are eligible for the enhanced benefit will automatically receive it if they have completed their BC 2019 income tax return.
To learn more visit One-Time Enhanced July 2020 Payment for the Climate Action Tax Credit.
Canada Day Celebrations go virtualDate:June 29, 2020
July 1st celebrations will be different this year; across the country, Canada Day has gone virtual. The federal government is putting on both a Canada day daytime and an evening show to celebrate. A virtual celebration kit and fireworks are also available. The government has also compiled a list of other virtual celebrations across the country. Check HERE see if your community is hosting a virtual celebration.
For more information, see the Oh Canada! Canada Day 2020 page.
Happy Canada Day!
Traffic fines and BC Hydro COVID-19 Relief Fund deadlines nearing!Date:June 26, 2020
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers expanded to include workers who lost ability to work between March 1 & March 14, 2020Date:June 26, 2020
The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers has been expanded to include British Columbians who lost their ability to work due to COVID-19 between March 1 and 14, 2020.
If you haven't already been approved for or received the benefit, find out if you might be eligible. Online and telephone applications are now open. Learn more at gov.bc.ca/workerbenefit
Canada Student Service Grant Now LaunchedDate:June 25, 2020
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered new details on the now-launched Canada Student Service Grant program including spelling out how it’ll work, and elaborated on the government’s plans to create thousands of more temporary job openings for young people who are looking for work and experience this summer.
The grant to post-secondary students and recent graduates would provide one-time payments of up to $5,000 for volunteering in pandemic-related programs, depending on the number of hours worked. For every 100 hours spent, a student will receive $1,000.
Interested volunteers must register by August 21 at the latest, and completed applications for the grant have to be submitted no later than November 6. Participants are only able to count hours volunteered between June 25 and October 31 of this year.
The government is directing those interested to a new “I want to help” information portal where they can connect with COVID-19 focused charities that could use their help. Through this webpage, not-for-profit organizations can submit volunteer opportunities. In order to be a qualifying placement it must happen in Canada, support Canada’s COVID-19 relief efforts in some form, be a minimum of two hours per week for four weeks and follow all public health requirements.