Help is on the way but there is concern that it won't be used. Landlords in Canada are being asked to take financial assistance provided by the federal government. The Prime Minister warned that there could be consequences down the road.
On May 20, Justin Trudeau made an announcement about a support program for landlords and commercial tenants.
He was also asked about what there can be done to put pressure on them to take part in the program.
While Trudeau didn't have a sharp warning for landlords like Ontario's premier did a day earlier, he still noted the struggles that could come if businesses aren't supported.
"We know that if many businesses aren't able to make ends meet and do go under at this point, it'll be a lot slower to pick up the economy and that will be bad for Canadians but it will also be bad for landlords," he said.
Trudeau also mentioned that building owners will see a slower regaining of economic activity as well.
"With many people discovering that we can work from home to a much greater degree, there may be a lot of vacancies in commercial buildings over the coming months and years," he said.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford blasted landlords during a press conference on May 19.
"We're giving you 75% of what you're asking for. Nothing drives me more crazy than greedy landlords taking advantage of people and small business owners that are just trying to keep their head above water," he said.
He also mentioned that he's trying to be fair but warned landlords not to push him.
The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will give landlords forgivable loans.
That is so they can reduce rent by 75% for small business tenants that have lost the majority of their revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications for the program can be made starting on May 25 when the portal opens.
Trudeau noted that relief will be received quickly after that.
With the program, the federal, provincial and territorial governments will cover 50% of the rent.
Landlords would cover 25% with tenants paying the rest with help from other support programs provided by governments.