Today the Prime Minister announced his government is extending the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program another month. Regrettably, however, there were no amendments to the eligibility criteria or changes to the process of providing rent relief directly to the tenants.
RCC recognizes that some retailers have benefited from the program but, as we’ve flagged repeatedly, ongoing store closures remain inevitable as many landlords across the country haven’t utilized the voluntary program. Rent relief remains a priority issue for RCC as retailers of all sizes with severely reduced revenues continue to have difficulty in paying their rent.
Proposed changes to CERB and EI
The government also announced today that individuals who are still collecting the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments at the close of the program and who haven’t returned to work will be transitioned to Employment Insurance (EI) even if they didn’t qualify for EI before. At the same time, the government is planning to update the EI program and the eligibility requirements. Details on the transition and new EI changes will be announced later in August, so stay tuned.