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Parties agree to fast-track rent relief bill through Commons by week's end

Last Updated Nov 4, 2020 at 2:02 pm PST

The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa is seen, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Justin Trudeau's ethical conduct will be put under an opposition microscope today during a rare summer sitting of the House of Commons, but the prime minister won't be there. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Summary

Parties agree to fast-track a long-awaited bill to provide businesses with direct access to emergency rent relief

Under the agreement, Bill C-9 will be passed by the House of Commons on Friday

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have reached an agreement with opposition parties to fast-track a long-awaited bill to provide businesses with direct access to emergency rent relief.

Under the agreement, Bill C-9 will be passed by the House of Commons on Friday; it will still need to be approved by Senate before it can be enacted.

The bill replaces the government’s previous rent relief program, which was widely criticized because it needed buy-in from landlords, many of whom did not participate.

The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy is intended to allow commercial tenants to apply directly for rent and mortgage-interest support.

Until Dec. 19, it would cover up to 65 per cent of eligible expenses for businesses, charities and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Claims could be made retroactively for the period that began Sept. 27.

Businesses that are forced to shut their doors due to the pandemic would be eligible for another 25 per cent.

The bill would also extend the federal emergency wage subsidy until June 2021.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2020.

The Canadian Press