COVID-19 - Get Help Now
These are extremely stressful times for everyone. There is help and resources to try to help Canadians through this public health crisis. Some of the supports that have been implemented by the provincial and federal government are listed below.
Government of Canada: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
Visit www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html for federal supports and services. This includes
- Support for individuals and families, such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for people facing job loss, information about employment insurance (EI), the GST rebate increase, the Canada Child Benefit increase, help with mortgages, and the current freeze on Canada Student Loans repayments.
- Support for businesses, including wage subsidies and the Business Credit Availability Program.
- Help for Canadians who are abroad and want to return to Canada.
Government of BC: COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information
Visit www2.gov.bc.ca/covid-19 for provincial supports and services. This includes:
- Important public health information and updates
- Information about an increase to the climate action tax credit
- New protections for workers, including the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers and protected leave for people who have to take time off work
- New protections for renters, including a moratorium on most evictions, rent freeze, and changes to the Residential Tenancy Act
- Changes to the Medical Services Plan (MSP), including temporary coverage and waiver of the wait period for people who are eligible
- Updates for childcare and education
- Information about bill deferrals for ICBC and BC Hydro
- Information to closures or reductions for BC Parks, BC Ferries, and other services
The Government of BC has also developed the COVID-19 BC Support App and Self-Assessment Tool at bc.thrive.health. You’ll find updates, resources, and the Self-Assessment Tool to help you take next steps if you think you have COVID-19.
BC MLA Bowinn Ma compiles regular, easy-to-read updates on provincial and federal supports for British Columbians on her website. Visit bowinnmamla.ca/covid19/supports/.
For public health information: BC Centre for Disease Control
Visit www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19 to learn more about the coronavirus and COVID-19 illness, how to keep yourself safe, and find public health orders.
Information for workers: BC Federation of Labour
Visit bcfed.ca/news/statements/resources-workers-during-covid-19 for the BC Federation of Labour’s Resources for Workers during COVID-19.
Information for renters: BC Residential Tenancy Branch
Visit www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies for information about changes to tenancies in BC. You can also find more resources in For tenants facing uncertainty.
For local services and support organizations: BC211
Visit bc222.ca or call 211 to find local services and supports, including mental health and substance use services and supports, supports for seniors, housing, and food banks.
If you need to talk to someone
- Call the BC Mental Health Support Line at 310-6789. It’s available 24/7.
- Chat online with a Crisis Center volunteer at www.crisiscentrechat.ca (daily between noon and 1:00am)
- For older adults: Call the Seniors Distress Line at 604-872-1234
- For children and youth: Call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or talk online at kidshelpphone.ca