April 28th, 2020

Reality check: Under Ford’s plan, businesses may never reopen

QUEEN’S PARK – The rent is due in three days, but business owners and advocates are worried that Ontario’s broken new rent relief program will only lead to more closed doors. Here’s just some of what Ontario’s business community has had to say:

  • “The main concern that I am hearing from our clients, is that the landlord may be reluctant to enrol in the program out of fear of losing the 25 per cent from their office tenants or those tenants that have the ability to pay.” Stan Krawitz, vice-chairman Savills Canada The Globe and Mail, April 27
  • “CFIB also has some concerns including that the program may be too complicated and too reliant on landlords to administer. In particular, as landlords do not have to participate and will be expected to accept some losses under the program, they may choose to ignore it, even if their tenants badly need it.” Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business CFIB, April 24
  • “The caveat is that tenants who need rent relief can only get help if their landlords join the program and currently there is no national ban on commercial evictions.” Wendy Paradis, President, ACTA, April 28
  • “I don’t know if the landlord will apply or not… I don’t want to go further into debt because of this… the stress of not knowing is what’s so upsetting to me.”​ Kerry Warnaar, owner of Jungle Oasis, an indoor playground in Orangeville, The Globe and Mail, April 24

Businesses across the province have already been forced to close forever or are currently facing eviction thanks to Conservative inaction, and it’s clear this new broken program doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. Ontario New Democrats are calling on the Conservatives to step up to the plate with the real rent relief and supports that businesses deserve.