Gov't Increases Wage Subsidy to 75%
Wage Subsidy Increased from 10% to 75% & More Support
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this morning more help for small and medium-sized businesses to keep employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis. Qualifying businesses will see the wage subsidy increase from 10 per cent to 75 per cent and it will be backdated to March 15.

The subsidy increase is part of a suite of small business measures being rolled out. Additionally, the prime minister said banks will offer $40,000 loans to businesses, which are interest free for a year, and up to $10,000 could be waived for repayment.

Trudeau also announced that GST and HST payments, as well as duties and taxes owed on imports, will be deferred until June, which he said amounts to $30 billion in interest-free loans to businesses.

Details of the programs are still being worked out and more information will be coming out between now and Monday.

We will continue to share the most relevant information and please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need any additional support.

Thank you,

Ingrid Jarrett
President & CEO,BC Hotel Association 
BC MSP Coverage Update
The B.C. government is waiving the Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage waiting period for people moving back to B.C. from COVID-19 impacted areas. In addition, the B.C. government is planning to provide health coverage to British Columbians who are out of province and unable to return. 
British Columbia Deferred Tax Payments
Effective immediately, B.C. is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020:
·       Employer health tax
·       Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax)
·       Carbon tax
·       Motor fuel tax
·       Tobacco tax
BC Passes Employment Standards Leave Legislation
British Columbia has made two significant changes to the Employment Standards Act by passing Bill 16 Employment Standards Amendment Act (No. 2), 2020  on March 23, 2020. The bill will better support workers both during the COVID-19 public health emergency and in the long term.
It will allow workers to immediately take an unpaid, job-protected leave if they are unable to work for reasons relating to COVID-19. This means workers who are ill, need to self-isolate, care for their child or other dependent, or whose employer is concerned that the employee may expose others to risk, will be able to take a leave without putting their job at risk.
  • The leave will be retroactive to Jan. 27, 2020, the date that the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in B.C. During this public health emergency, people can take this job-protected leave for as long as the circumstance requiring them to be away from work applies.

  • To better support workers on an ongoing basis, the changes also provide up to three days of unpaid, job-protected leave each year for people who cannot work due to illness or injury. This is a permanent change to the act that brings B.C. in line with all other provinces in Canada.
New BC Emergency Benefit
A new B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak.
The benefit will be a one-time payment for British Columbians who receive federal Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, or the new federal Emergency Care Benefit or Emergency Support Benefit as a result of COVID-19 impacts.
This includes workers who:
  • Have been laid-off
  • Are sick or quarantined
  • Are parents with sick children
  • Are parents who stay at home from work while child care centres and schools are closed
  • Are caring for sick family members, such as an elderly parent

The workers can be EI-eligible and non-EI eligible, such as the self-employed. The benefit will be paid to B.C. residents, in addition to federal income supports.