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NDP adds pandemic pay to long list of COVID relief failures

DAWSON CREEK (February 8, 2021) – Despite apologies for delays and commitments to get cheques to those who need it, February marks more than seven months that thousands of B.C. front-line workers have been waiting for the pandemic pay that was promised by the NDP government.

The NDP has repeatedly failed at getting support to those who need it,” said Mike Bernier, BC Liberal Critic for Finance and MLA for Peace River South. “Front-line workers have made incalculable sacrifices throughout this pandemic, working to keep people safe and healthy and to keep our province running. However, more than 15,000 workers throughout B.C. who were told they’d receive money months ago, are still waiting to see any sign of the promised relief. The NDP has apologized for delays, but an apology is cold comfort to a worker who has been working long hours for months putting their safety at risk during a global pandemic. The NDP made a promise, and the responsibility falls on them to make it right with the 15,000 people who are still waiting for this support.

The pandemic pay program was announced last spring to provide front-line workers with a pay bump during the early months of the pandemic. While the program is federally funded, the Province is responsible for distributing the committed funds to those in need.

“The government needs to be held accountable to the promises it makes to British Columbians, but with the NDP delaying the Legislative session for a month, we don’t have the option to debate these issues right now,” continued Bernier. “From the botched rollout of pandemic pay and the B.C. Recovery Benefit, to the failing business grant program and the need for better supports for those on disability assistance — there are so many things this government should be working on right now. Instead, John Horgan’s decision to call an unnecessary fall election means months of delays in getting support into the hands of those who need it most.”

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