Provincial Government Updates
May 19, 2020: Phase Two
BC’s COVID-19 Four-Stage Plan is now in Stage two, as of May 19th. Businesses re-opening are required to develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan that outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures they have put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. WorkSafeBC has developed a six-step process to help you create your own plan. The tool is provided as a fillable PDF you can download and save with the details of the plan for your workplace.
NOTE: Your safety plan must be posted online and also available in the establishment for staff, customers and WorksafeBC inspections.
WorksafeBC Reopening Protocol for:
May 6, 2020: British Columbians will move forward with safely restarting their province beginning in mid-May, according to a plan announced by Premier John Horgan. Review the highlights of the staged plan, and access best practices and resources for BC’s Restart Plan.
Building and Safety Standards Branch
Last Updated May 1, 2020: A central location for key information to help guide and inform the building construction and operations sectors.
On this page:
May 1, 2020: Applications for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers OPEN. Apply now for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, a tax-free, one time $1,000 payment for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 Provincial (BC) Support and Information (Live link)
British Columbia Financial Support in Response to COVID-19
Last Updated April 23, 2020
Funding for critical services is increased by $1.7 billion to support:
• Health care pressures due to the COVID-19 outbreak
• Social services and vulnerable populations
• Housing and shelter programs
• First Nations Health Authority
Tax Relief for Businesses
Last updated April 8, 2020: The following provincial taxes have been deferred, delayed or reduced:
Delayed PST Budget 2020 Tax Changes The filing and payment due dates for sales taxes are extended to September 30, 2020. This includes carbon tax, motor fuel tax (including the International Fuel Tax Agreement), provincial sales tax (PST) (including the municipal and regional district tax on accommodation), and Tobacco tax.
Employer Health Tax Extension: Employers that declare bankruptcy or cease to have a permanent establishment in B.C. in 2020 on or before September 29, 2020 are not required to file their employer health tax return or pay the tax until September 30, 2020.
Employer Health Tax Installment Payment Extension: Employers required to make instalment payments won’t need to make them until after September 30, 2020. Future instalment payment due dates will be determined at a later date.
Reduced School Tax for Businesses School tax rates for commercial properties (Classes 4, 5 and 6) will be reduced by 50 per cent for the 2020 tax year.
Climate Action Tax Credit Updated March 31, 2020: A one-time enhancement to the climate action tax credit will be paid in July 2020 for moderate to low-income families:
• An adult will receive up to $218.00 (increased from $43.50)
• A child will receive $64.00 (increased from $12.75)
COVID-19 and Tenancy
Last updated April 7, 2020: Tenants should pay rent wherever possible, however, the state of emergency temporarily suspends a landlord’s ability to end a tenancy if a tenant does not pay the rent in full and on time. Tenants facing difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis should consider all assistance that is available to them, including:Temporary Rent Supplement
WorkSafeBC Relief: Q1 payments for 2020 have been postponed. Businesses that report payroll and make payments on a quarterly basis can defer payments without penalty until June 30, 2020 (instead of the usual date of April 20).
• Customers can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty through the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program
• Customers experiencing job loss, illness or lost wages due to COVID-19 can access grants up to $600 to pay their hydro bills through the Customer Crisis Fund
o Customers on a monthly payment plan who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty
- Covid-19 Customer Recovery Fund offers various deferral plans to residential and small business customers
- Billing Support: Billing and payment late payment fees waived.
- Fortis BC has suspended natural gas disconnections for customers unable to pay their bill.
COVID-19 Economic Development Resources
Last Updated: March 24, 2020
The BC COVID-19 Action Plan: outlines B.C.’s first steps to support people, businesses and services.
• Effective immediately, many provincial tax filing and payment deadlines are deferred to September 30, 2020
• $1.5 billion in provincial funding will support economic stimulus once the pandemic has passed
• The Business Development Bank of Canada is offering new relief measures. Qualified businesses and entrepreneurs can access the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
• Small Business BC resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19
• BC Economic Development Association resources for businesses, economic developers and local leaders impacted by COVID-19
• Greater Vancouver Board of Trade COVID-19 resources
• Surrey Board of Trade COVID-19 and pandemic preparedness resources
• WorkSafeBC resources for workers and employers