Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Ontario is making its ban on commercial evictions for some small businesses retroactive to May 1, after months of frustration from entrepreneurs who’ve seen revenue plunge from the COVID-19 crisis.

Premier Doug Ford announced last week that the province would ban evictions from June through August for businesses that are eligible for the national Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, but whose landlords do not plan to apply. At the time, the province said evictions would only be nullified going back to June 3.

The Progressive Conservatives said they would expand the retroactive ban ahead of a vote late Wednesday to expedite the bill’s passage into law. Opposition New Democrats said they met with the PCs to discuss the bill Wednesday, hoping to make eviction protection retroactive to mid-March and extend it to all small businesses even if they didn’t qualify for CECRA – but that the governing party would not allow further changes.

Story continues below advertisement

A spokesperson for Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark said the legislation meant that any landlord who had changed the locks on a CECRA-eligible tenant for not paying rent after May 1 must let the tenant back to the unit. If the landlord has re-rented the space, they must pay damages to the evicted tenant, spokesperson Julie O’Driscoll said in an e-mail. Any seized goods must be returned, and if they were sold, the proceeds must be applied against the tenant’s unpaid rent.

Earlier this week, Alberta also added further protections for CECRA-eligible small businesses, banning any late fees, penalties or rent increases from landlords between March 17 and Aug. 31, and requiring reimbursements if tenants have already been charged. While Alberta has banned commercial evictions from this week until Aug. 31, its eviction protections are not retroactive like Ontario’s.

Revenues collapsed for many small businesses, especially restaurants and other storefront businesses, after widespread economic shutdowns in March. Though parts of Canada, including most of Ontario, have begun to gradually reopen, health precautions and public fears are expected to prevent revenue from reaching pre-pandemic levels. Yet many entrepreneurs have had to pay their fixed costs over the past three months – including rent, which is often their biggest bill.

Ottawa and the provinces announced the CECRA program in late April, nearly six weeks after pandemic shutdowns began, after significant lobbying from both entrepreneurs and advocacy groups such as Save Small Business and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The program covers half a tenant’s gross rent for April, May and June if the tenant agrees to pay a quarter and the landlord eats the final quarter of the costs.

Eligible businesses must have experienced at least a 70-per-cent decline in revenue because of the pandemic, have less than $20-million in gross annual revenue, and pay less than $50,000 in monthly rent.

But the onus to apply is on landlords, and very few have applied. Mr. Ford said when he announced the legislation last week that landlords had applied on behalf of just 7,000 of the province’s 418,000 small businesses.

As a result, Ontario and other provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia, have announced eviction bans for small businesses that are eligible for CECRA but whose landlords have chosen not to apply. Some jurisdictions’ bans are very short-term or limited: New Brunswick was one of the first to implement a ban, but has since lifted it. British Columbia’s ban only runs until the end of June.

Story continues below advertisement


Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies