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B.C. families likely won't see $1,000 COVID-19 benefit until after Christmas

Last Updated Nov 10, 2020 at 11:40 am PDT

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B.C.'s premier warns his party's promised recovery benefit for families and individuals will likely be delayed

BC NDP promised during the election campaign a one-time payment to families and individuals amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Premier John Horgan says COVID-19 has complicated timelines to get the Legislature recalled

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – It was a major BC NDP promise during the provincial election campaign, but now the B.C. government warns it could be a while before COVID-19-relief cheques are sent out.

Premier John Horgan says the cash might not be ready until the New Year, adding the new provincial government has to be sworn in before the Legislature can be recalled.

“We want to approve the dollars through the Legislature, that’s the best way to do this and that’s our goal,” he said on Monday. “There is a timeline I have, but I might not meet it. We do hope to bring the Legislature back before Christmas.”

Horgan notes the rising number of cases of COVID-19 have also complicated things.

“I’m hopeful we can get that addressed in the next two weeks and then be in the Legislature in December, but I can’t be any more specific than that,” he added.

Despite delays, the premier is assuring the public the BC NDP will fulfill its election pledge.

Horgan’s NDP promised one-time payments of up to $1,000 for families with a household income of less than $125,000 a year, with a sliding scale to $170,000. The party has also promised individuals up to $500 if they are earning less than $62,000 a year, with a sliding scale up to $87,000.

The money is meant to help British Columbians who have been struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan is estimated to cost around $1.4 billion.