While we hold onto hope for brighter and happier times in 2021, I think we all know it will take some time to achieve a sense of normalcy again. My staff and I have been fielding calls about a few issues recently. For every call we get there are probably many others with the same questions who are not calling in. So, I want to answer some of those questions for you.
Considering recent lockdown measures and the current Stay at Home Order for residents of Ontario there are many questions about federal programs. In 2020 the government introduced the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program (CECRA). This program did provide aid to business owners; however, the tenant was not able to apply directly and relied upon the property manager/owner to make the application. In response to concerns about this process, that program was replaced by the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). Any business owner/commercial tenant is able to apply for CERS. It is a more flexible program that provides rent subsidy based on the decrease in revenues the business has experienced. There is no blanket policy that requires a certain percentage of lost revenue, but it adapts to specific circumstances and may even provide relief for businesses who own their commercial property. This program, which commenced September 2020 and will be available until June 2021, is much more versatile and will provide help to more of our local business owners. Visit Canada.ca to view a guide on who can apply, and a calculator to determine what subsidy amount your business might be eligible for.
We have been contacted by many others, including self-employed individuals and parents who are impacted by the extension of online learning. There are a few benefits available under the umbrella of the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) including the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and the Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit.
You can visit Canada.ca for additional information on any of these benefits. My staff and I are also committed to serving you safely and we are available by telephone or email to answer questions or assist you in finding information. In person services are by appointment only.
Please stay safe and stay healthy, and call if there is anything my office can assist with.
Doug Shipley is the Member of Parliament for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-728-2596.