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COVID-19 Updates

  • Federal Government introduces measures to enhanced EI as CERB nears end, and introduces new recovery benefits to support Canadians

    Date:
    August 21, 2020

    On Sept. 27, almost all CERB claimants who qualify for EI and are still unable to work will be transitioned onto the EI program as their avenue for support once their 28 weeks of CERB run out. For most workers, this transition will be automatic however there will be a few cases in which applications will need to be filed, and those people are being contacted by the government.

    The government has also introduced enhanced measures to help Canadians access EI. Workers must have 120 insurable hours to qualify. Those eligible will receive a minimum benefit rate of $400 per week for at least 26 weeks.

    Lastly, three new benefits will come into effect September 27.  

    The Canada Recovery Benefit would be effective for one year and would provide a benefit amount of $400 per week for up to 26 weeks to workers who are not eligible for EI, mainly the self-employed and including those working in the gig economy. These individuals may still require income support if they continue to be unable to return to work due to COVID-19 or had their income reduced relative to pre-COVID-19 pandemic (attestation-based).

    The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit would provide $500 per week, for up to two weeks, effective September 27, 2020 for one year, for workers who are unable to work because they are sick or must self-isolate due to COVID-19. This new benefit would fulfil the Government of Canada’s commitment as part of the Safe Restart Agreement with provinces and territories to provide up to two weeks of sick leave to all Canadians in the context of COVID-19.

    The Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit, would be effective for one year, and provide $500 per week, for up to 26 weeks per household to eligible Canadians who have been impacted by the closure of daycares, schools, day programs and other care facilities.

    To learn more about the enhanced EI or the new benefits, see Supporting Canadians Through the Next Phase of the Economy Re-opening: Increased Access to EI and Recovery Benefits.

  • Province introduces new measures to enforce COVID-19 public safety

    Date:
    August 21, 2020

    Police and other provincial enforcement officers are being given the ability to issue $2,000 violation tickets for owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s (PHO) order on gatherings and events.

    They will also be able to issue $200 violation tickets to individuals not following the direction of police or enforcement staff at events or who refuse to comply with requests to follow PHO orders or safe operating procedures, or respond with abusive behaviour.

  • $300 BC COVID-19 income and disability supplement extended to end of 2020

    Date:
    August 19, 2020

    If you are not receiving federal Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and you are either on

    • Income Assistance
    • Disability Assistance
    • Comforts Allowance
    • BC Senior’s Supplement 

    You'll automatically receive a $300 supplement on your cheques issued monthly, from April to December 2020. No action is required on your part.

  • Court of Appeal extends filing deadline suspensions to Sept. 14, 2020

    Date:
    August 19, 2020

    On August 19, the BC Court of Appeal extended deadline suspensions until September 14, 2020. For more information, see the Notice to the Public Regarding the Court of Appeal for British Columbia’s Response to COVID-19.

  • Trudeau announces plans for end of CERB, transition to EI

    Date:
    August 17, 2020

    According to the Federal Government, they plan on loosening some restrictions so that those who would not normally qualify for EI can still receive the benefit. The Prime Minister said, “We intend to cover every Canadian who is looking for work with a better, 21st-century EI system.”

    The last scheduled CERB pay period is set to end on Sept. 26, 2020. Trudeau said more details about “what will come after the CERB” will be released in the coming weeks.

  • Ban on evictions for non-payment of rent ends August 18, 2020

    Date:
    August 14, 2020

    The ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent is over as of August 18, 2020. This means that tenants must pay rent in full on the day it is due or they can be evicted. A landlord may issue a Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities if the tenant failed to pay rent that was due before March 18, 2020 OR the tenant fails to pay full rent due after August 17, 2020 (for most renters that would be September 1, 2020). To assist in repayment of any outstanding rent fees, the province has developed a Rent Repayment Plan.

    A landlord must not issue a Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities that came due during the specified period of March 18, 2020 to August 17, 2020 unless the landlord has given the tenant a repayment plan for the unpaid amount and the tenant has defaulted on the repayment plan. A landlord cannot charge a late fee for any unpaid rent during the specified period of March 18, 2020 to August 17, 2020.

    Rent increases do not come into effect until December 1, 2020.

    For more information, see the Residential Tenancies COVID-19 updates.

  • BC Students expected to be back in class starting Sept. 10, 2020

    Date:
    August 12, 2020

    BC Education Minister Rob Fleming announced today a gradual restart of classes in September.  Students are expected to be back in the classroom by Sept. 10. Beginning on Sept. 8, school staff will meet with their schools' joint health and safety committees to get instructions on plans to prevent transmission of COVID-19. They'll also have time to adjust to the new routine and make sure lesson plans work in the "new normal," according to a government press release.

    Children will return to school for orientation by Sept. 10, when they'll learn their class assignments and find out who is in their "learning group" — a cluster of 60-120 students that is meant to allow for social interaction, while limiting the potential for widespread transmission.

    To read more about the K-12 Plan to help students return safely back to school, see the K-12 Education Restart Plan. Keep checking regularly for updates.

  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) extended to November 21, 2020, employers with any revenue drop eligible after July 5

    Date:
    August 12, 2020

    The Canadian government has released details regarding the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). The program will cover up to 75% of an employee’s salary for the weeks between March 15 and November 21, 2020. Eligible employers who had any drop in revenue can now qualify for the wage subsidy, starting with the claim periods that began July 5. See HERE to learn about the changes.

  • Legal time limitation suspension to end 90 days after the expiration or cancellation of the BC State of Emergency

    Date:
    August 12, 2020

    On August 4, 2020, the Lieutenant Governor made the COVID-19 (Limitation Periods in Court Proceedings) Regulation, B.C. Reg. 199/2020 (“Regulation”) and amended the Act. The Regulation and the Act provide that the suspension of mandatory limitation periods and any other mandatory time periods in British Columbia enactments or laws for commencing a civil or family action, proceeding, claim or appeal in the Supreme Court of British Columbia will end 90 days after the date the state of emergency expires or is cancelled.

  • Masks to become mandatory on all BC Transit and Translink transit vehicles starting August 24, 2020

    Date:
    August 10, 2020

    BC Transit and Translink will be proceeding with mandatory use of face coverings while on-board all transit vehicles in communities across the Province as of Monday August 24. While face coverings will be mandatory, the policy will be implemented with a focus on awareness and education. For more information, including those exempt from this mandate, see BC Transit Coronavirus COVID-19 Information and Translink’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.