British Columbia: Provincial State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency

Economic Aid: The provincial government’s first steps in providing financial relief to individuals and businesses include $5 billion in income supports, tax relief, and direct funding for people, businesses and services. The plan dedicates $2.8 billion to help people and fund the services they need to weather the crisis, and $2.2 billion to provide relief to businesses. The province is also deferring payments on Employers Health Tax, Carbon Tax and the Provincial Sales Tax until September 30, 2020. The scheduled April 1 increase to the provincial carbon tax, as well as the new provincial sales tax registration requirements on e-commerce and the implementation of PST on sweetened carbonated drinks, will be delayed and their timing review by September 30, 2020.

Closures / Restrictions: By order of the provincial health officer, has shut down nightclubs, libraries, playgrounds, and personal service establishments (salons, spas, etc.). Gatherings of more than 50 people are banned. The mandate orders all restaurants in the province to move to take-out only, businesses that remain open, including grocery stores and pharmacies have been instructed to take additional measures to ensure adequate social distancing.

British Columbia Parks suspended services and closed faculties at all but four provincial parks in order to discourage people from getting outside in groups. The temporary measures affect marine parks, visitor centres, nature houses, playgrounds, washrooms and day-use facilities. Visitors are still able to use trails but are responsible for their own safety. Mount Seymour, Cypress, Miracle Beach and Wells Gray provincial parks remain open, with some restrictions.