FORT ST. JOHN (February 19, 2021) – Opposition Critic for Social Development and Poverty Reduction Dan Davies and MLA for Surrey South Stephanie Cadieux are asking John Horgan why he chose to wait more than two months to waive the BC Recovery Benefit application process for people on COVID disability income assistance.
“We have been advocating for automatic payments since December, but the Minister of Finance refused because the NDP was worried about ‘overpayments’ to people living with disabilities,” said Davies. “It’s great to see this now fixed, but for many, it has been nearly two months since the NDP clawed back their disability income assistance as they waited anxiously for their one-time cheques to pay for rent, groceries, and other necessities.”
John Horgan has faced strong criticism for introducing a lengthy application process that has created considerable barriers for British Columbians wishing to apply for their benefit, despite already having much of the information requested in the application already on file. Of the 3.7 million British Columbians eligible for the recovery benefit, only half have currently received the cheques that were promised to them by Christmas.
“It’s troubling that John Horgan waited more than two months to implement this policy that advocacy groups and members of the Official Opposition have been calling for, it’s even more troubling to learn that the NDP could have done so all along,” added Cadieux. “The NDP could have prevented an immeasurable amount of grief for many people if they had listened to the concerns that were being raised. We are calling on the Premier to apologize, and outline what he’s prepared to do to help the thousands of British Columbians who have suffered unnecessarily as a result of him bungling another recovery program.”