B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan continues to save lives and reduce the spread of COVID-19, making us all safer. So far, we have administered over 1 million vaccine doses to British Columbians, and appointment booking by age groups continues to be ahead of schedule. Everyone is on track to receive a vaccine by end of June.
The new province-wide registration and vaccination booking system is now active. Registering for your vaccine is easy.
This week, the Legislature resumed its spring session. Already this session, we’ve extended the business recovery grant program and last week brought in a new Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant of up to $10,000 for businesses, like restaurants, pubs and fitness centres, impacted by the March 30 public health orders. We’ve extended the rent freeze for tenants, acted to prevent renovictions and made amendments to improve the oversight in the real estate market and financial services. It’s progress, but we still have much more to do.
March 18 marked one year since a state of emergency was declared in B.C. It was an important reminder of all that we have gone through as a province, and the work that is still ahead to build a recovery for everyone. We know that this pandemic has impacted people across our province in many different ways.
That’s why our government announced the expansion of the Launch Online Grant Program last month. These grants will allow small businesses to build or expand their e-commerce capacity to reach more customers, grow their business, and continue their post-pandemic recovery. This means more online stores, online bookings and local products delivered to more people throughout our province.
We also announced the largest-ever increase to income assistance, disability assistance, and the senior’s supplement. Among the many concrete benefits, those on income and disability assistance will receive an extra $175 each month – a permanent change that continues our government’s poverty reduction strategy. Supporting British Columbians is key to a strong, sustainable economic recovery, and this is a major step in that direction.
During the pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in anti-Asian and anti-Indigenous racism, and a worldwide focus on anti-Black racism. It troubles me because it hurts everyone of us and our communities. Our government is committed to combating racism in all its forms, but we all must do more to address systemic discrimination and hatred in this province. In light of this commitment, our government announced a new anti-racism information campaign that encourages British Columbians to examine their own biases and start conversations. I encourage you to visit antiracist.gov.bc.ca and learn more.
As always, if you have questions or need any assistance with provincial COVID-19 supports, or any other provincial issue, please reach out to my office. We can be reached at 604-936-8709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.