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Ontario extends ban on commercial evictions

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Shady Salah – Media in Toronto

Commercial tenants still struggling to recover from the devastating financial blow of the COVID-19 crisis won’t have to worry about potentially getting evicted for at least another month.

Ontario government last July introduced legislation to temporarily ban commercial evictions of businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance by making changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act.

Premier, Doug Ford, hinted on Friday during his media briefing that a ban on commercial evictions is apparently being extended until the end of September, allowing owners of bars, restaurants, retail stores and other small businesses province wide to breathe a sigh of relief. “We’re extending it as of today… our priority is to always make sure we protect businesses out there” Ford said, encouraging landlords to take part in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and give their tenants a break. "They can’t just evict someone.”

Last July, applications opened for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, which is a multi-level partnership between the Ontario and federal government that provides forgivable loans to eligible commercial landlords to help cover 50% of commercial rent for tenants for the months of April, May and June 2020. The tenant is then responsible for covering up to 25% of the rent so that up to 75% of the rent is covered for the landlord. Through CECRA, Ontario is committing $241 million for small businesses, while the federal government is providing more than $900 million in support.

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