B.C. Premier John Horgan takes questions at the B.C. legislature, February 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. gets $2 billion in latest COVID-19 federal aid package

Sick leave, transit backed by Ottawa, John Horgan says

The B.C. government getting close to $2 billion in the latest federal aid package for provinces, including help for paid sick leave in the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier John Horgan says.

After a lengthy conference call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other premiers July 16, Horgan congratulated Trudeau for putting $1.1 billion toward paid leave across the country “to make sure that people don’t go to work sick.”

Horgan, Yukon Premier Sandy Silver and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister spearheaded the effort to extend sick pay to people who don’t have it from their employers. Details on whether the program will be delivered via the Employment Insurance or another method are still to be worked out, but it will be “nationally funded and nationally coordinated,” Horgan said.

He credited provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for making infection control in workplaces a central part of the province’s relaxing of pandemic controls.

“Dr. Henry made it pretty clear to me early on in the pandemic that the biggest challenge we had in the restart was making sure that people didn’t go to work when they had potential symptoms that could lead to transmission to other workers or customers in the economy,” Horgan said.

The latest federal aid includes 50-50 shared support with B.C. on keeping transit operating and helping municipalities with their costs.

“There’s an increase in funding for mental health issues,” Horgan said. “There’s an increase in funding for child care. There’s an increase in funding for vulnerable populations, those with disabilities, and more to come in that regard.”

RELATED: Ottawa, provinces agree on $19M COVID-19 aid package

RELATED: B.C.’s ban on evictions for unpaid rent to end Sept. 1


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plane crashes into Nelson supermarket parking lot

Pilot and passenger have minor injuries

Phase three presents new opportunities for Kootenay tourism

Message from MLA Michelle Mungall and MLA Katrine Conroy

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

RDKB to spend $5,000 to review 2020 freshet response

The province is also kicking in $5,000 for the review of flood protection rollout and communications

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Most Read