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On June 17, 2020, The Ontario government passed the Protecting Small Business Act, which temporarily halts or reverses evictions of commercial tenants during COVID-19. Initially announced on June 8, 2020, the legislation applies to businesses that are eligible for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA”) program, protecting them from evictions retroactively from May 1, 2020 until August 31, 2020.

The new legislation aims to help small businesses struggling with the negative impacts of COVID-19 by protecting them from being locked out, evicted, or having their assets seized by property owners. The Act does not apply to those small businesses already participating in the CECRA program, as the program already imposes a moratorium on evictions for three months while requiring landlords to enter into a rent reduction agreement with tenants.

This new legislation is good news for employers of small businesses that have been struggling to pay rent due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, and that are not currently benefiting from the CECRA program.

This blog is provided as an information service and summary of workplace legal issues. This information is not intended as legal advice.