All development and building permits for the City of Victoria can be submitted online, said Mayor Lisa Helps in her daily COVID-19 update on Friday.
“We’ve been working towards this for many years, there’s nothing like a pandemic to put some fire under us and make it actually happen,” said Helps.
The applications that can be submitted online now include rezoning applications, development permits, heritage alteration permits, temporary use permits, variance applications, building plumbing and electrical applications.
Help’s updates have been moved to 2:30 p.m. every weekday and can be streamed on Facebook.
News from federal government:
As usual, Help recounted some of the latest news coming from the federal government that would be impacting Victoria residents. On March 27, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced under the new Canada Emergency Business Account, storefront businesses will qualify for up to $40,000 in loans which will be interest-free for one year, with up to $10,000 forgiven, he said. Business owners will have until June to pay GST and HST payments while taxes on imports will also be suspended.
In addition, small businesses will now be able to receive up to 75 per cent in federal government funds in order to keep paying their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic – up from the previously announced 10 per cent subsidy plan.
“What’s really heartwarming for me is to see the federal government being so responsive to the advocacy efforts of the city, as well as our Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Business Association and Destination Greater Victoria,” said Helps.
News from the province:
The latest news from the province is really going to impact seniors said Helps, addressing the expanded 211 services announced on March 27.
“What this means is if you’re a senior during the pandemic, simply call 211 … and you’ll be matched with a service provider or a volunteer who can help you with groceries, medication or just help you to stay connected,” she said.
Helps also highlighted the “really exciting” news from Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, from earlier in the day, where she announced that the province’s restrictions on gatherings, travel, schools and restaurants are showing results.
Henry released the B.C. government’s modelling, showing B.C.’s rate of growth in COVID-19 cases has slowed slightly compared to the rest of Canada, and is tracking within B.C. hospital capacity for expected severe cases.
“So Victorians, let’s make Dr. Bonnie Henry proud,” said Helps.
— With files from Ashley Wadhwani and Tom Fletcher