EDITORIAL – A fly on the wall of the B.C. Recovery Benefit committee

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IF THERE WAS A PLAN to screw up the B.C. Recovery Benefit, it’s working wonderfully well.

Whatever committee was charged with rolling it out must have been creative. A fly on the wall at their meetings might have heard something like this:

“How can we do the worst possible job on this particular election promise?”

“Well, first of all, we’ll tell everyone that applying for their $1,000, or $500, will be simple. Then, we make it ridiculously complicated.”

“Good idea, but let’s not tell them about the complicated part until it’s time to apply.”

“I’m with you on that. When they do apply, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to ensure they can get online quickly. In fact, how about if the system crashes?”

“I like how you think. When they do get through and make their application, that’s when we hit them with just ‘a few more pieces of information,’ right?”

“More information — you nailed it. We tell them they have to send in all kinds of documentation to prove who they are. I roughed out an example; see what you think of this:

“’To confirm you and your spouse or common-law partner are current B.C. residents, a readable copy of at least two of the following documents. The documents must show you and your spouse or common-law partner’s name and B.C. address, and must include December 18, 2020 in the document date range.’

“Then we list bank statements, utility bill, phone bill, credit card statements and house insurance or renewal.”

 “That sounds good so far. That should drive them nuts.”

“That’s just the beginning. I’ve got all sorts of other stuff about income tax assessments and that sort of thing.”

“Well, I think we’re on the right track. If we do this right, they’ll all throw up their hands and give up applying at all.”

Yep, never under-estimate the brilliance of our governments.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8896 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on EDITORIAL – A fly on the wall of the B.C. Recovery Benefit committee

  1. So then Mel and David if they send another email asking for more documentation then just fill in what they need which is again simple, can’t be hard as if you have your documents from your taxes etc you just give them the info. Many ways to upload it or type it in as proof. This is good that the BC get everything updated in case we get more money down the road. People should be grateful and not complain, it’s a learning curve. It just means your money comes later then some which isn’t necessarily a bad thing either as end of Jan or Feb would be a good time to get a check after Christmas bills or for a much needed vacation later in summer in fact anytime is good to receive money but we have become an instant gratification society.

  2. Sandra Cochran // December 23, 2020 at 10:55 PM // Reply

    I also applied on line., had to provide a sin #, dr lic #, line 26000 of my tax return, name address etc, took about 10 minutes. Rec’d an email confirmation that it was rec’d. with any new computer system you can expect bugs and crashes, staff don’t like it any more than the public, that’s why I didn’t apply for a few days…let the work out the kinks. now hopefully I get my chq as quick as the previous guy!

  3. Sean McGuinness // December 23, 2020 at 9:44 PM // Reply

    These brilliant architects of a plan should read Kafka.

  4. What’s the big deal? I applied on Friday dinner time, it took me less then 5 mins to apply. Sunday 48 hrs later I received an email that said something along the lines that they received my application and gave me a number to remember in case I or they had to contact each other for more info. The next day Monday I received another email saying my application had been approved and I would receive funds within 3-5 days. Today Wed, 2 days later the money arrived! Easy Easy Easy! One would have to be a moron to screw this up. By the looks on the TV news the elder man who had trouble it was because he was not computer savvy in which case someone could do the application for him. This is not rocket science!

    • Mel Rothenburger // December 23, 2020 at 9:15 PM // Reply

      Sounds like you didn’t receive the follow-up email with the additional questions and requirements for additional documentation that are causing others the problem.

      • Sounds like there may be more to it:
        A report on the news said the reason so many people have been asked for more info on their application is due to outdated info BC had from CRA. From the sounds of it, the line 23600 numbers were outdated and so if that happened, it triggers a request for documentation. They are working to fix that and get the claims put thru asap.
        … so they say …

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