B.C. to get $2.2B in COVID-19 support, Horgan celebrates paid sick leave program

Journal of Commerce | The Canadian Press | July 17, 2020

VICTORIA — British Columbia Premier John Horgan says he’s proud that a national paid sick leave program has been announced as part of a $19 billion federal funding plan to support provinces during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Horgan has been pushing for a national program to provide sick pay for people who wouldn’t otherwise be covered along his counterparts, Yukon Premier Sandy Silver and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister.

He said during a news conference the new program will be federally funded and co-ordinated.

Horgan says provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry emphasized early in the pandemic that a successful fight against infections would depend on people staying home from work when they have symptoms.

He says British Columbia will receive about $2.2 billion in transfers as part of the federal “Safe Restart Agreement” that will help cover things like child care and personal protective equipment.

Under the agreement, he says the province will match every dollar the federal government spends on transit and he estimates B.C. will need about $600 million to get decimated transit budgets back on track for this year alone.