The Government of British Columbia is extending the temporary rental supplement (TRS) until the end of August 2020 to continue to support renters and landlords.
It will also maintain the moratorium on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent, while enabling other notices to end tenancy to resume.
"COVID-19 has touched all aspects of our lives and our economy. While we are seeing good success at limiting the spread of COVID-19 thanks to everyone's joint efforts, it has been a difficult time for many," said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "Recognizing the financial challenges faced by many people, our government is extending the TRS and maintaining the rent freeze and the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent. We're continuing to protect renters as we also ensure landlords are receiving some income during this time."
People who have already been approved for the TRS do not need to reapply. They will receive an email asking them to confirm they plan to live at the same address through July and August. New applications will also be accepted until Aug. 31 and will be eligible for a supplement for the month they are received and all subsequent months.
The moratorium on evictions has been in effect since March 30 and will continue for non-payment of rent. As the province moves forward with BC's Restart Plan, the ban on evictions for reasons other than unpaid rent will be lifted later this month.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
While the Government may not be calling it a Rural Dividend Grant, the City of Merritt has just received funding from the province for the exact projects and dollar figures applied for last Summer under the sixth intake of Rural Dividend Grant.
The Rural Dividend program was suspended by the NDP back in September of 2019 to direct money towards communities hardest hit by the forestry downturn, but now it appears the province has back stepped, providing rural communities with what’s being called a rural community development grant.
"As someone who lives in a rural community, I know that rural B.C. is the backbone of our economy," said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development. "The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every region of our province, and I'm glad our government is providing these one-time grants to lend extra help to people, communities, and economies in rural B.C."
As applied for under Rural Dividend in August, the City will be receiving $100,000 to be spread across six projects.
The projects include;
- hiring a community grant writer (the previous grant writer’s contract expired before this funding was secured)
- the Merritt Youth Entrepreneurship program
- a tourism coordinator
- tourism attraction videos
- community information signage
- a Nicola Valley trail coordinator
“The projects are the same as rural dividend, it’s just a different title. This will help support our local economy,” said Tourism and Economic Development Manager Will George.
Further details on the individual projects will be released by the City shortly.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
Effective at noon on Friday, June 19, 2020, the following are once again permitted, subject to municipal regulations, throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre’s jurisdiction:
- Category 2 open fires as defined by the Wildfire Regulation;
- Resource management open fires as defined in the Wildfire Regulation;
- Sky Lanterns; and,
- Burn Barrels or Burn Cages of any size or description
Considering weather patterns and the time of year, the BC Wildfire Service has identified an opportunity to allow Category 2 open burning throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre. Ongoing assessment of the need for prohibitions is occurring.
Category-3 open fires are still prohibited in the region.
The BC Wildfire Service urges people to take the following precautions with any allowed outdoor burning:
- Ensure that enough people, water, and tools are on hand to control the fire and stop it escaping.
- Do not burn in windy conditions. The weather can change quickly, and wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
- Create a fireguard around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material right down to the soil.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Make sure that your fire is fully extinguished, and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area for any length of time.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:
"Today, we are announcing eight new COVID-19 confirmed positive cases, for a total of 2,783 cases in British Columbia.
"There are 190 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,425 people who tested positive have recovered.
"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 10 individuals are hospitalized, five of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
"Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 950 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,441 in the Fraser Health region, 130 in the Island Health region, 197 in the Interior Health region and 65 in the Northern Health region.
"There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 168 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks. In total, six long-term care or assisted-living facilities and one acute-care facility have active outbreaks.
"There have been no new community outbreaks and the outbreak at Nature's Touch Frozen Fruits has been declared over. Public health teams continue to provide support for the three remaining community locations.
"Of the new cases announced today, one adult has been linked to a small, independent school in the Fraser Health region. Public health teams are actively investigating, close contacts have been notified and as a precautionary measure, the school has ceased in-class learning for the balance of the year.
Dr. Bonnie Henry has provided the latest figures of COVID-19 in BC.
(Previous numbers in brackets)
New Cases – 8
Total Cases – 2,783 (2,775)
Active Cases - 190 (185)
Patients in Hospital – 10 (11)
Patients in ICU – 5 (5)
Recovered – 2,425 (2,422)
New Deaths – 0
Totals Deaths – 168 (168)
Health region breakdown;
Vancouver Coastal – 950 (946)
Fraser – 1,441 (1,438)
Island – 130 (130)
Interior – 197 (196)
Northern – 65 (65)
More to come.
This week, the Baillie House presented its first-quarter visitor figures and unsurprisingly the numbers have seen a massive decrease due to COVID-19.
While the visitor centre was open for January and February COVID forced the centre to close down for an extended period beginning in March.
“The Merritt Visitor Centre at the Baillie House had 2,477 visitors attend during the first quarter of 2020, from January to March, which was a 40.1% decrease over the same period in 2019. For the first time in 15 years, the Merritt Visitor Centre was closed for an extended period to the public due to COVID-19. The Merritt Visitor Centre temporarily closed on March 14th and reopened on June 5th with physical distancing and additional safety procedures implemented,” wrote Tourism Manager Will George.
Second-quarter numbers will likely also show a decrease as, despite the centre reopening on June 5, the province of BC is still battling COVID-19 and recommending reduced travel for residents.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt