NDP also repeats calls for financial supports for business, including rent supports
WATERLOO – Catherine Fife MPP (Waterloo), the NDP Official Opposition critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, issued a statement following Doug Ford's belated announcement to stop commercial tenants from being evicted during the economic crisis caused by COVID-19:
“Small business owners and BIAs have been urging Doug Ford to ban commercial evictions for months now. This decision is long overdue. There’s no excuse for Ford’s failure to act while businesses were going under and workers were being laid off.
Now, the protection is too restricted. A business needs to have lost 70 per cent of their income. That’s excluding thousands of businesses that are in crisis and need help. As this measure only begins on June 3, this does nothing to save the business owners who have already been evicted by their landlord during the pandemic.
Ontario has been the outlier as British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta have acted to ban evictions of commercial tenants. We’ve seen the consequences with new statistics Friday showing that Ontario was the only province or territory in Canada to suffer job losses last month while the rest of the country is on the road to recovery.
While today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, business owners need a broader ban on commercial evictions, plus some direct supports to help them make it to the other side of this pandemic. The NDP’s Save Main Street plan calls for the province to step up with provincial rent support going directly to commercial tenants, a six-month rent freeze, and a remote-work set up fund to help them with things like setting up an online retail operation, or work-from-home systems.”