QUEEN’S PARK — The new commercial rent support program has got massive gaps that leave businesses out, and the provincial government should fill those gaps, according to Ontario’s Official Opposition.
The overly complex program relies on landlords to decide to apply. If they do, they’ll lose 25 per cent of their income. Only landlords whose commercial tenants who have lost 70 per cent of their income will qualify.
“Allowing thousands of Ontario businesses to fail because their landlord doesn’t volunteer to lose income is definitely not good enough,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who has proposed a 75 per cent provincial rent subsidy with direct payments to tenants.
Horwath and the NDP say Ford should step up with a made-in-Ontario solution to fill the gaps and support businesses that won’t qualify, and landlords that won’t want to participate, to avoid losing thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises, charities and non-profits.
“It’s critical for the economy, for jobs, and for the culture of our communities that small and medium-sized businesses make it through the COVID-19 pandemic, and are a part of the economy re-opening on the other side,” said Catherine Fife, the NDP critic for Economic Growth and Job Creation, Research and Innovation, and International Trade. “Businesses can’t bounce back if they’ve gone under.
“Supporting small businesses is supporting Ontario. If Mr. Ford continues to fail to do that, it’ll cost our province dearly.”