September 18th, 2020

Ford again fails to protect most small businesses facing eviction

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Catherine Fife (Waterloo), the Official Opposition NDP critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, has responded to the Ford government’s decision to re-introduce a temporary ban on commercial evictions:

“The Ford government’s temporary ban on commercial evictions failed to protect most small businesses the first time it was introduced. It only offers protection for small businesses that are eligible for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) that has been a bureaucratic nightmare and only applies to businesses with a 70 per cent drop in revenue.

Instead of listening to small business owners who’ve been very clear this isn’t working, the Ford government is simply doubling down on a failed policy that’s done little to save Main Street. Small businesses are still on a knife-edge with many on the brink of shutting their doors forever. This will do nothing to help most struggling businesses who’ve been cut adrift by their landlords and don’t qualify for this protection.

Small businesses need direct supports as part of a real plan for economic recovery and a complete ban on commercial evictions until the pandemic is over, to give them the breathing room they need to start re-hiring workers and start growing again.”

The Official Opposition NDP’s Save Main Street plan proposes a series to measures to support small businesses, charities and community-based non-profits, including:

  • A 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy up to $10,000 a month for three months
  • A utility payment freeze
  • A safe restart and remote-work set up fund, which could help businesses install plexiglass barriers or buy PPE
  • An auto insurance grace period for taxis and car-sharing drivers, established in partnership with the insurance industry and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority
  • A designated emergency fund for small businesses and entrepreneurs who have faced historic barriers to accessing traditional capital, as proposed by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce.