Other Financial Supports

BC Hydro

BC Hydro is halting all service disconnections for non-payment of bills and reducing electricity rates by 1%.

They are also offering a COVID-19 Relief Fund, where they will extend up to 3-months of credit for eligible customers. The credit amount is based on your average consumption and you will not need to pay it back. (The average credit will be $477.) Relief Fund applications will be accepted between April 6 and June 30.

Also, their COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program offers customers the option to defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty.

Their existing Customer Crisis Fund continues. It can provide grants of up to $600 off your energy bill.

ICBC

ICBC is temporarily waiving some of their fees and also allowing AutoPlan payments to be deferred for up to 90 days. In addition, “an exemption is available if you would like to insure a vehicle that is usually insured for personal use to allow for the delivery of food and medical products.”  Details are available here.

Emergency Child Care Funding

Starting in April, those childcare providers who are receiving emergency government funding cannot charge parent fees for any periods of closure or for vacant spaces and must reserve spaces for families. Check with your provider to see if they are in this program.

Additional information about Child Care During the Pandemic

Fares Waived on Public Transit

Until May 31, BC Transit is “implementing rear door boarding in all BC Transit systems to enhance physical distancing for drivers and passengers” and waiving fares. (Accessible loading is still provided at the front door.)

How to board:

  • Enter and exit the bus using the rear doors
  • Front doors will be used only for accessible boarding
  • Board the bus and find an open space
  • Fares and passes are not required
  • Use extra caution when boarding the bus

To protect staff, some seats on some busses, and on the SeaBus, will not be available for riders to use.

Changes to Registered Retirement Income Funds

The Government of Canadian has “reduced the required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25 per cent for 2020.”

Emergency Travel Loan

“[The Government of] Canada has announced the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad.

Canadians, and in exceptional circumstances, Canadian permanent residents, outside the country who, before the COVID-19 pandemic, had existing plans to return to Canada that have been disrupted by COVID-19 can apply for an emergency repayable loan to facilitate their return to Canada and to cover basic essential needs while they work towards their return. Each application will be assessed according to the applicant’s specific situation and needs.

This emergency assistance is a repayable loan.”

Up to $5000 available to Canadians travelling abroad trying to get home.

To apply, call 1-613-996-8885 or send an email.

Frequently Asked Questions

Income Tax Filing and Payments Deferred

Filing due date is deferred to June 1.

Payments owed are deferred until after August 31.

More Information

Hospital Parking Fees Waived

The Government of B.C. is temporarily suspending pay parking at hospitals and other health facilities amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Parking will be free for patients, staff and visitors at all sites owned and operated by health authorities until further notice, starting April 1.