BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan: The Provincial Government’s Efforts to Support People and Businesses

Yesterday, the British Columbia government announced its COVID-19 Action Plan, which included a variety of financial relief initiatives to help both individuals and businesses who are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, including:

  1. The new BC Emergency Benefit for Workers
  2. Changes to the BC Climate Action Tax Credit
  3. Extension of Tax and Other Payment Deadlines

For the convenience of BC’s workers and business owners, we’ve summarized the key details of these initiatives below. For a full summary of the key federal and BC government initiatives and programs being introduced to address the financial impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, read our Fact Sheet here.

  1. BC Emergency Benefit for Workers

The details of this benefit are as follows:

  • One-time, tax-free $1,000 payment to any British Columbian whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak, and who receives EI, or the new federal Canada Emergency Response (CERB) as a result of COVID-19 impacts.
  • Includes workers who have been laid-off; are sick or quarantined; are parents with sick children, or who stay at home from work while child care centres and schools are closed; and those caring for sick family members, such as an elderly parent.
  • Workers can be EI-eligible and non-EI eligible, such as the self-employed.
  • The benefit will be paid to B.C. residents, in addition to their federal income supports.
  1. BC Climate Action Tax Credit

The provincial government is increasing and expanding this tax credit in July 2020 as follows:

  • Up to 86% of British Columbians will see some extra money from this enhancement.
  • Eligible families of four will receive up to $564 and eligible individuals will receive up to $218 in an enhanced payment.
  • This boosts the regular climate action tax credit payment of up to $112.50 per family of four and up to $43.50 per adult.
  1. Extension of Tax and Other Payment Deadlines

BC Student Loans

Starting March 30, 2020, the Province is freezing B.C. student loan payments for six months. Federal student loan payments are being frozen as well.

Provincial Tax Deadlines

  • Effective immediately, businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until September 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt from the tax.
  • Tax filing and payment deadlines for the provincial sales tax (PST), municipal and regional district tax, tobacco tax, motor fuel tax and carbon tax are all extended until September 30, 2020.
  • The scheduled April 1 increase to the provincial carbon tax, as well as the new PST registration requirements on e-commerce and the implementation of PST on sweetened carbonated drinks, will be delayed and their timing will be reviewed by September 30, 2020.

For more information about the BC government’s COVID-19 Action Plan, read their news release here.


NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on the Kent Employment Law website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action, based upon this information. Never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. One of our lawyers would be pleased to discuss any specific legal concerns you may have.

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