We posted an earlier provincial announcement at the beginning of June that the Ontario government was looking at proposing changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act that would ban evictions of small businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial commercial rent assistance during the pandemic. This move was prompted as a result of a low uptake of the program by landlords, who argued that the application process is onerous and confusing.
The Ontario government has now passed Bill 192, Protecting Small Business Act, 2020 temporarily halting or reversing evictions of commercial tenants and protecting them from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19.
The legislation applies to businesses that are eligible for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for evictions from May 1, 2020 (retroactively) until August 31, 2020. The pause on evictions does not apply to those already participating in CECRA, as that program already includes a stipulation of a 3-month eviction moratorium. Of note is that the legislation is reversing evictions as of May 1, whereas originally the province was considering reversing evictions on or after June 3.
To refer to the complete provincial government announcement, please click here.
Details related to CECRA are available here.