The province is proposing changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act that, if passed, would temporarily halt evictions of small-sized businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance. Ontario is now joining British Columbia, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in imposing these commercial bans, though each province’s policy varies in its execution.
The Ontario ban will apply to small businesses who are eligible for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program who pay up to $50,000 in monthly gross rent and who have experienced at least a 70 percent decline in revenue because of the pandemic. The new policy would also reverse any evictions that happened on or after June 3 and make it illegal to evict a CECRA-qualifying tenant in Ontario until August 31, 2020.
The federal government announced CECRA in late April to help small business tenants cover their rents, but the responsibility to apply was left to landlords, not tenants – and very few landlords have applied for the program, as many mentioned that the application process is onerous and confusing.
CECRA for small businesses provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial landlords to help cover 50 per cent of commercial rent for tenants for the months of April, May and June 2020. The tenant will be responsible for covering up to 25 per cent of rent, so that up to 75 per cent of the rent is covered.
Please read this provincial government announcement for all the details.