MPP Fife calls for overhaul of small business rent relief scheme
WATERLOO – Catherine Fife MPP (Waterloo), Official Opposition critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, is echoing the calls of small businesses, pointing to the failure of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and calling on Premier Doug Ford to provide direct rent relief to small businesses that desperately need it.
“Mr. Ford’s plan for small business hasn't worked,” said Fife. “Instead of providing direct support to small businesses that desperately need relief, the Ford government rolled out a program that forces small businesses to rely on their landlords to apply. And when they do apply it is complicated, bureaucratic and almost impossible.”
The Premier has known for months that his plan wasn't working and yet he refused to listen, leaving small businesses on their own without any support and facing eviction. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has called on governments to create a new plan, noting that less than 10 percent of the funding set aside for CECRA has been allocated.
Fife reiterated the need for direct support as set out in the NDP’s Save Main Street Plan – including a 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy up to $10,000 a month and a ban on commercial evictions.
“Ontario's economic recovery depends on small businesses surviving, rent support is an investment in our recovery. Doug Ford needs to listen to the voices of small business calling for real relief,” said Fife.