July 31, 2020

Today, the federal government announced the extension of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program (CECRA) by one month to help eligible small businesses pay for August's rent. Consistent with the previously announced July extension, it is up to the property owner/landlord to decide whether or not to extend their participation in the rent relief program into August.

Tenants who qualified for the CECRA program in April-June should not have to provide any reassessment information to apply for extension, but the property owner/landlord does need to initiate the extension.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) who administers the program has developed an FAQ for property owners to understand what documentation/processes are necessary for the extension, and that information is available here. The official link to opt in for August is not yet available.

Full details on the government’s announcement of CECRA’s extension into August are available here.

The Prime Minister also announced today that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will end this fall. The program is slated to run until September 26, 2020, after which recipients will be transitioned to Employment Insurance (EI). The government will also create a “transitional, parallel benefit” similar to EI for those who do not qualify for EI, such as contract workers. Further details on these changes will be made available in the coming weeks.

The CPA welcomes the extension of CECRA, but believes direct support for small businesses struggling to meet commercial rent and other fixed costs is still needed. The CPA will continue to press the federal government for changes to this and other programs and will provide updates as they become available.