Federal Government Announces New Rent Relief Measures to Replace CECRA

Note: The federal government has since released further details regarding the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. You can find our latest coverage of the topic here.

Today, the federal government announced new support measures to assist small and medium-sized businesses, charities and non-profits who have had a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  These measures include the announcement of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).

CERS is a commercial rent relief program that will be set up to replace the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, which expired at the end of September.  Tenants will be pleased to know that unlike CECRA, CERS will be provided directly to tenants, rather than through landlords.

According to a press release from the Department of Finance and statements made by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, program parameters will include:

  • CERS will provide “simple and easy-to-access” rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for organizations which have suffered due to the pandemic.
  • CERS support will cover up to a maximum of 65% percent of eligible expenses for organizations which have had a drop in revenue of 70% or more. Organizations that have seen pre-COVID revenues fall by less than 70% will be eligible for “a gradually decreasing level of support”.
  • For organizations that that are temporarily shut down due to a mandatory public health order, CERS will also provide a 25% top up, in addition to the 65% subsidy.

These program parameters will apply until December 19, 2020, at which point new parameters will be adopted until June 2021.  The government plans to introduce legislation in the near future to implement CERS.

In addition to CERS, the federal government also announced today that it will be extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and expanding on the Canada Emergency Business Account.

Check back on Clark Wilson’s COVID-19 resource page for more updates on CERS as they become available.

For more legal analysis of how COVID may affect your business, or personal affairs, visit Clark Wilson’s COVID-19 Resource and FAQ pages