“We’re not talking about making business rich here,” O’Toole told reporters at a press conference this morning. “We want to make sure the requirements are relaxed so that companies can just stay open and their employees don’t lose their jobs. ”
The motion comes a day after Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland introduced a bill containing long-awaited changes to the commercial rent subsidy, after the government was widely criticized that the previous program was ill-conceived and insufficient. .
Changes made by Freeland include the introduction of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which replaces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA). It also includes new “lockdown support” to help businesses sentenced to shut down by public health order. The law also extends Canada’s emergency wage subsidy until June 2021.
The old rent assistance scheme, CECRA, covered up to six months of rent by providing forgiveness loans up to half the value of a company’s monthly rent, in exchange for acceptance by the landlord to reduce the rent.
The main complaint from businesses was that they could only access the benefit if owners chose to participate.
The new ESRB allows companies to request the benefit directly without having to go through the owners.