My sister lives in British Columbia, Canada, and I was supposed to visit her this May. But with this pandemic going on, my travel plans and the reunion with my sister went to smoke. I have never been there, and she says it is beautiful. She wanted me to see the place, to feel it and experience it. We haven’t seen each other for five years, and we both have been saving up for this trip for the last two years. It is so unfair that this is happening, and I have to accept that it will be another year or so until I get to be with my twin.
British Columbia has 2,145 confirmed Coronavirus cases, with 1,357 recovered patients. Right now, their death toll is 112, and while it is not much, their local authorities are implementing strict rules on safety and social distancing.
Right now, BC is in a state of emergency, and its government website provides support and information. They have credible articles about COVID-19 and how to keep safe, away from Coronavirus exposure. It also mentioned an emergency benefit for workers since they advocate that their priority is to protect British Columbians. They are setting up plans on protecting their province for this pandemic so that they can effectively respond to it. As for the emergency benefit, they are giving away $1000 for each worker who complies with the requirements.
Other benefits for BC citizens include:
- All low to mid-income family earners get a special GST/HST credit payment, which is about $400 to $600. This is a federal benefit.
- As for their province, they proposed a Climate Action Tax Credit. There is a payment of $218 per adult, $218 for the eldest child, and $64 for every additional child. This is eligible in July 2020.
- They have set up child care services in case parents cannot take care of their child at this time, no charges.
- Online tools are available so that kids can continue with their education.
- Student loans are not due until September 2020. It’s been frozen for six months and at no interest.
- Those with special needs children can avail of emergency relief funding, if eligible.
- Businesses that can help out with the COVID-19 situation are encouraged to provide products or services.
- There is emergency financial support for workers and business owners.
- As for housing, tenants are not evicted even when they cannot pay – government subsidizes and assists landlords/renters.
- They even have a mental health support system for everyone.
The province came well-prepared for this fight, and it’s because they have good governance and money to spare. This is probably one of the reasons why my sister loves it there, and that she wants me to see how promising BC is for me as well.
Actually, this vacation was sort of a test drive if I will like the BC way of life. Browsing through that site, I am seeing that BC is taking care of its own. And it’s true. My sister even attested to receiving the benefits. She is unemployed at the moment, but that resourcefulness of her, she just cannot stay idle for long.
She loved to cook, just like our mother, and at times, I would hear “Clarita, can you make me those empanadas, one box, please. How much?” She has become a hit with her neighbors, and they ask for her food. That is how she earns there now, so even with unemployment due to COVID-19, she is getting by.
We have both accepted that it will take a bit of time before we will be together. But as long as we are both safe, then we will wait. BC, here I come 2021. Or 2022. Who knows.