British Columbia is gradually entering Phase 3 of its COVID-19 restart plan, which means non-essential travel is now allowed throughout the province.
B.C. enters Phase 3 of COVID-19 restart plan, allowing non-essential travelDate:June 24, 2020
Final Round of Short-term Emergency Funding Available for Families of Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN)Date:June 23, 2020
The Province is extending interim measures, including a new round of funding and supports for children with special needs and youth aging out of care, to help children, youth and families through the ongoing pandemic. A final round of the short-term Emergency Relief Support fund for children and youth with special needs and their families will provide a direct payment of $225 per month for up to three months to assist eligible families. This will be available from July 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, and will reach twice as many families as the first round of funding, helping them to access critical supports. To learn more and/or to contact your regional CYSN office to request funding, click HERE.
BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) Extended to End of August 2020Date:June 22, 2020
The Government of British Columbia is extending the temporary rental supplement (TRS) until the end of August 2020 to continue to support renters and landlords.
People who have already been approved for the TRS do not need to reapply. They will receive an email asking them to confirm they plan to live at the same address through July and August. New applications will also be accepted until Aug. 31 and will be eligible for a supplement for the month they are received and all subsequent months.
The moratorium on evictions has been in effect since March 30 and will continue for non-payment of rent. As the province moves forward with BC’s Restart Plan, the ban on evictions for reasons other than unpaid rent will be lifted later this month.
Initial Criminal Appearances in Provincial Court are starting againDate:June 18, 2020
People you have a first appearance on a criminal charge in Provincial Court on Vancouver Island on or after July 6, 2020 must attend court.
People who have a first appearance on a criminal charge in Provincial Court in the rest of British Columbia (the Fraser, Interior, Northern and Vancouver Regions) on or after June 15, 2020 must attend court.
After July 3, 2020, the Provincial Court will resume all previously scheduled in-person trials and hearings in all criminal, family and small claims matters.Date:June 18, 2020
Litigants and lawyers should contact witnesses and prepare for their trials to proceed as scheduled.
PM pledges to extend CERB payments for 2 more monthsDate:June 16, 2020
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be extended for eight weeks for those who still can't work as provinces and territories gradually reopen their economies.
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said CERB recipients for the new phase will be required to sign an attestation acknowledging the government is encouraging them to look for work and to consult with the government's job bank. That attestation will be in place on July 5, according to her office.
Further information regarding this extension will be released soon.
Provincial Court trials scheduled after July 3, 2020 will remain on trial list - parties must attend court on scheduled dateDate:June 16, 2020
The newly updated Provincial Court of BC Notice No. 19 to the public, effective June 12, 2020, explains what will be happening to Provincial Court matters for the coming months.
Many trials and appearances before or on July 3, 2020, have been rescheduled. Trials scheduled after July 3, 2020, will proceed on their scheduled date. Counsel and self-represented litigants should attend court on the date scheduled at 9:00 AM to advise if they are ready to proceed that day. You will be notified by the court if there are any changes. Other non-trial appearances scheduled for after July 3, 2020, will proceed on the date scheduled, either in court or by phone.
If you have an upcoming provincial matter, it is important that you check Notice No. 19 to confirm your scheduled date and whether it will be in court or via phone.
State of emergency extended to continue B.C.’s COVID-19 responseDate:June 11, 2020
The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province's COVID-19 pandemic response.
“As we continue to slowly and carefully reopen our economy, British Columbians are starting to see aspects of normal life return. But it's important to remember that we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Premier John Horgan. “There are a lot of people, businesses and communities that continue to need a hand right now, and the extension of this state of emergency helps us do that.”
The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on June 23, 2020, allowing the government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe.
To learn more, see the BC Gov News Release.
B.C. COVID-19 Temporary Pandemic PayDate:June 2, 2020
Temporary pandemic pay is now available for front-line health, social services and corrections employees. Temporary pandemic pay supports health, social services and corrections employees delivering in-person, front-line care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes employees delivering a range of health and social services to people most vulnerable to COVID-19, where maintaining physical distancing is difficult or impossible. Eligible front-line workers can expect to receive a lump-sum payment equivalent to about $4 per hour for straight-time hours worked anytime over a 16-week period, starting on March 15, 2020.
To determine your eligibility, click HERE.
June 1 Optional Return to SchoolDate:June 1, 2020
Beginning on June 1st, parents have the choice to send their children back to school on a gradual and part-time basis. The June 1 optional return to school is part of BC's Education Restart Plan. This prepares students and teachers for a return to full-time classes planned for September, provided it is safe to return.
All schools and school districts will be required to implement strict provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC health and safety measures to reduce the risk COVID-19 transmission.
For more information see Safe & Healthy Schools: Restarting BC’s Schools