The provincial government is implementing a number of supports and supplements for vulnerable residents, such as people on income or disability assistance, as well as low-income seniors.
The announcement was made on Thursday morning by Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
“We are putting in place measures that complement the federal crisis measures to support our most vulnerable populations and ensure they do not fall deeper into poverty as a result of COVID-19,” said Simpson.
Residents in BC that receive income or disability assistance are being temporarily exempt from federal employment insurance benefits. This way, these individuals can benefit from emergency federal support programs without reductions in their monthly assistance payments.
Anyone on income or disability assistance that isn’t eligible for emergency federal support programs will be provided with a three-month supplement of $300 per month. The supplement will also be given to low-income seniors and is in effect for April, May, and June.
Since BC Transit and TransLink bus fares have been suspended for the time being, eligible individuals will also be provided with a cash supplement of $52. This supplement will be given every month that transit fare suspension remains in place.
Simpson said these supplements are expected to support over 250,000 residents.
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Earlier on Thursday, the provincial government also rolled out an Economic Recovery Task Force which includes Premier John Horgan; Carole James, Minister of Finance; and Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development, and Competitiveness.
In addition to other ministers, the Business Council of BC, the BC Chamber of Commerce, the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Surrey Board of Trade, and the BC Federation of Labour will also be represented, alongside First Nations organizations and the not-for-profit sector.
Child care, supporting essential workers, safe workplace operations, and businesses reopening after the coronavirus pandemic are some of the issues at hand.
More to follow…