The province could be delivering pandemic relief payments as early as Christmas.

As part of its election platform, the NDP promised to provide a one-time, $1,000 direct deposit to families whose household income is under $125,000 annually.

It also included a sliding scale of up to $175,000.

Premier John Horgan’s NDP also promised a one-time $500 direct deposit to single people earning less than $62,000 annually – with a sliding scale up to $87,000.

Horgan gave an update on Wednesday.

He hopes it will happen once MLAs return to the legislature on Dec. 7th, with the goal of getting spending authorization for pandemic relief payments. 

The plan is estimated to cost around $1.4 billion.

Horgan is confident that if they get through the legislative session within a week or so, and the legislation goes through, they’ll have the deposits delivered shortly thereafter.

“We’re targeting Christmas, of course, but at this extraordinary time, I think British Columbians will just be happy to have access to a thousand bucks for their family or 500 bucks for individuals, whether it comes on Dec. 24th or it comes on the 5th of January,” Horgan said.

“We need to appropriate the resources and then it’s up to the ministry of finance to distribute those based on the criteria that were laid out during the campaign and will of course be laid out in any legislation that we bring forward,” Horgan said. 

He added that the government has “sufficient data” on who is eligible for the benefits, based on income tax information and worker benefits.