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Temporary ban on commercial evictions in Ontario eyed by Ford government

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 @ 9:16 AM | By John Schofield


Ontario wants to change the Commercial Tenancies Act to temporarily halt evictions of businesses that are eligible for federal-provincial rent assistance, according to a June 8 news release issued by the government.

If passed, the proposed legislation would reverse evictions that occurred on or after June 3 and would make it illegal to evict a commercial tenant until Aug. 31, 2020. The government intends to bring the legislation forward as soon as possible, stated the news release.

The federal-provincial Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program is providing more than $900 million to support small businesses by providing forgivable loans to eligible commercial landlords to help cover 50 per cent of their tenants’ commercial rent for the months of April, May and June 2020. Ontario is contributing $241 million of that total.

Under the program, tenants are responsible for paying up to 25 per cent of their rent so that 75 per cent of the rent is covered. Tenants and landlords can learn how much they may be eligible for by visiting Ontario.ca/rentassistance.

“We need everyone working together to overcome COVID-19,” Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark said in the release. “Landlords should work with their tenants to come to an agreement and use this joint program. Ontario’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we need them to flourish.”