Introducing the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for small businesses
This has been a heartbreaking week for Nova Scotians and for all Canadians.
At 2 p.m. Atlantic time, we will observe a minute of silence in honour of Constable Heidi Stevenson and all the victims of the Nova Scotia shooting.
I also want to remind everyone that at 7 p.m. Atlantic or 6 p.m. Eastern, a virtual vigil will be held to remember those who were taken from us too soon and support their friends and family during this particularly difficult time.
I hope that many of you will join us and wear red today in a show of solidarity.
Let’s come together to support these communities who suffered immeasurable loss.
Let’s celebrate the lives of those who left us too soon. Let us remember the families, friends, loved ones whose absence will linger for years and lives.
You can find more information at novascotiaremembers.com
This past week has been especially painful for the people of Nova Scotia and for all Canadians.
At 2 p.m. Atlantic time, we will observe one minute of silence to honour the memory of Constable Stevenson and all the victims of the Nova Scotia shooting.
There will also be a virtual vigil at 7 p.m. Atlantic time or 6 p.m. Eastern to celebrate the lives of those who left us far too soon.
It will be an opportunity to show the victims’ families and friends that we are there for them at this incredibly difficult time.
I hope that many of you will join us and wear red today as a sign of solidarity.
For more information, please visit novascotiaremembers.com.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, our government has been working with its provincial and territorial partners not only to get through this crisis, but to position our economy to rebound once it’s over.
And a big part of this work means listening to the concerns of Canadians and making adjustments as we go along.
One thing we’ve heard is that small businesses are having trouble making rent because of COVID-19.
If you’ve had to close up shop because of public health recommendations, if you don’t have a lot of money coming in because people aren’t spending as much these days – you may be worried about losing your office space or not having a coffee shop to reopen after this crisis.
So last week, we said that we’re planning on introducing the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance.
And today I can announce that we’ve reached agreements with all provinces and territories to lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that have been strongly affected by COVID-19 for April, May, and June.
The government will cover 50 per cent of that reduction, with the property owner covering the rest.
If you are a small business that has been strongly affected by COVID-19 and you’re paying less than $50,000 per month on rent, you’ll be eligible to receive this support.
It will also be there for non-profits and charitable organizations that are struggling right now.
We’ll also have more to say in the coming days about rent support for larger businesses.
Last week, I announced that we were planning on creating the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance.
And today, I can confirm that we have reached agreements with all of the provinces and territories to lower rent by 75 per cent for small businesses that will severely affected by COVID-19 in April, May, and June.
The government will cover 50 per cent of this reduction and property owners will cover 25 per cent.
This support will be available to small businesses that are severely affected by COVID-19 and whose monthly rent is under $50,000.
Charities and non-profit organizations will also be eligible for the program.
And soon, we will have additional news for larger businesses.
Later today, I will be meeting with the provincial and territorial premiers and there are several items on the agenda.
Among other things, we will continue our conversation about gradually reopening the economy.
Canada is an enormous country and it’s clear that the pandemic has not hit every region in the same way.
We are a federation. This means that we have to adapt our response to the realities of each province and territory.
But—regardless of the province or territory—reopening the economy must be done gradually.
To ensure that the progress we’ve made isn’t lost, significant coordination must be done at the national level.
We will therefore be working in the provincial and territorial governments to implement principles and recommendations to ensure people’s safety.
But I want to be very clear about reopening the country.
It won’t happen overnight.
It has to happen one step at a time.
If you don’t want us to start back from zero, everyone has to continue being vigilant and follow the experts’ recommendations.
Since the beginning of this crisis, we have been learning about what’s being done in countries like South Korea, Japan, and Singapore.
But we see the challenges associated with reopening in certain places. So we have to be very careful.
Every location could take a different approach, so even if you hear on the news that another province is considering relaxing the rules, you must continue following the guidelines that apply in your location.
Otherwise, there’s a real risk that all the progress we have made to date will be lost.
As I said yesterday, we are witnessing upsetting scenes in seniors’ residences and long-term care facilities all across the country.
It’s unacceptable and our government will be there to help.
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces will be deployed in response to formal requests from Quebec and Ontario—requests that the Minister of Public Safety approved.
Reconnaissance work in taking place in both provinces and we are identifying what needs to be done and what the next steps will be.
Quebecers, Ontarians, and all Canadians can count on us during this crisis.
We are deploying the army to provide emergency support and to help the provinces regain control of the situation.
But we know that this is not a long-term solution.
We are also providing the provinces with billions of dollars to boost the salaries of essential workers and to ensure that our seniors receive the care that they deserve.
As I said yesterday, what we’re witnessing in long-term care facilities across the country is extremely troubling.
It’s unacceptable and our government will be there to help the provinces.
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces will be deployed after the Minister of Public Safety received and approved two formal requests from Ontario and Quebec.
Reconnaissance work is underway in both provinces. We’re identifying what needs to be done and mapping out next steps.
As I said many times before, we will be there for Quebecers, Ontarians, and all Canadians during this crisis.
We’re deploying the military to provide emergency support to help provinces regain control of the situation.
But we all know that this is only a short-term solution.
We’re also offering billions of dollars to provinces to top up the pay of essential workers and make sure that elderly Canadians get the support they deserve.
Later today, I’ll be meeting with the First Ministers to continue our work on supporting Canadians during this time.
We’re also going to talk about reopening parts of the economy.
Canada is a vast country and some regions have been hit harder than others during this pandemic.
We’re a federation, so we have to adapt our response to the realities and challenges of each province and territory.
But I want to be clear that getting back to normal will not happen overnight.
It’s going to take time. It won’t be as simple or as easy as flipping a switch.
It’ll require a lot of coordination at the national level and our government will be there to do that work.
We will be working with the provinces and territories to establish principles and guidelines to start reopening the economy safely.
Over the coming weeks, you’ll hear more talk about reopening, but you need to know we’re not out of the woods.
It’s absolutely critical that everyone continues to follow local public health instructions as we move forward.
For now, these instructions are the same for all Canadians.
No matter where you live, you should be staying home as much as you possibly can.
You should be washing your hands regularly and you should always keep a safe distance of two metres from others.
That is the only way for us to make it through together.
Thank you very much.