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B.C announces $5 billion COVID-19 Action Plan

BY , Mar 23, 2020 7:54 PM - REPORT AN ERRORLAST UPDATED ON Apr 24, 2020 3:33 PM

The British Columbia government is spending $5 billion to help support the province's economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier John Horgan says it is a stressful time for people and businesses, and help is needed now.

Horgan says the province is spending $2.8 billion on people and services, and $2.2 billion on businesses and economic recovery in the future.

Horgan says the plan includes direct payments to people as well as deferment of payments.

He says there will be targeted tax relief and support for renters to make sure no one is evicted because of the novel coronavirus.

The British Columbia government says it will provide a tax-free $1,000 payment to people whose jobs have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will be a one-time payment for those who receive federal Employment Insurance benefits or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit.

It will go to workers who have been laid off, who are sick or quarantined, parents with sick children, parents who stay at home while child-care centres and schools are closed, and those who are caring for other sick family members.

The government says it will continue to provide funding to non-profit agencies and child-care providers, even if they are closed or have had to reduce their hours of operation.

B.C. student loan payments are being frozen for six months.

For businesses, it is also deferring employer health tax payments, delaying a scheduled increase to the provincial carbon tax and cutting the school tax in half.

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