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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Trail Kiwanians wrap up $10,000 hospital donation

The new KBRH emergency department opened its doors a few weeks ago

LeRoi Foundation donates to hospital in Trail

$5,000 comes to KBRH via Community Foundations Canada and ECSF

Trail market goes garlic

The event goes Saturday in downtown Trail from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read