Carole James, Minister of Finance, has issued the following statement on the release of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey for March 2020:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on people and economies around the world. British Columbia is no exception, which is evident in the number of lost jobs in this month’s labour force survey.
“We know today’s numbers reflect the initial impacts of the pandemic, and a fuller picture will become clear in next month’s report. This is a stressful time for all British Columbians, but I want people and businesses to know our government is doing everything it can to support them — and together we will get through this.
“Our COVID-19 Action Plan builds on the federal government’s economic plan and provides significant support to people and businesses who are worried about paying their bills.
“This includes the $1,000 B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers, relief for renters, a three-month credit for affected BC Hydro customers, as well deferment of taxes for businesses, cutting the school property tax by 50% and additional relief for people and businesses.
“We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and are committed to doing what it takes to support people and businesses in B.C.
“We are focused on delivering on a plan that addresses the critical situation many people and businesses find themselves in today. And we’re working with a new Economic Recovery Task Force and engaging stakeholders in every sector to ensure we have a plan in place for B.C.’s recovery.
“We have seen inspiring stories from across the province of people and businesses going out of their way to help others in their community. It is this spirit that will help bring us through these trying times and begin the path to recovery.”