Coronavirus | Ontario | Store Operations

Associations jointly call on the Ontario government to enact a moratorium on commercial evictions to protect business and help prevent store closures during the COVID-19 crisis

May 25, 2020

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) stands side-by-side with our industry partners in calling on the Ontario government for a moratorium on commercial evictions. Collectively, our members represent over 83,000 storefronts, restaurants and hotels in Ontario.

In an open letter issued today, we drew attention to the urgent need for an immediate moratorium on commercial evictions, retroactive to April 1, 2020 and extending to August 31, 2020, in order to match the end of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program application period (OCECRA in Ontario).  Rent relief remains a priority issue for our members and we continue to be deeply concerned that many landlords will ignore this voluntary program, which will inevitably result in a vast number of store closures.

We are appreciative of the efforts that governments across the country have put into creating programs to avert layoffs and closings, but the reality is, retailers with severely reduced revenues have no ability to pay their rent.

  • 48% of RCC members indicated they have not been able to pay their rent at all.
  • 34% indicated that landlords had threatened to either change their locks or evict them as a tenant.

That is why it’s critical for all governments, including Ontario, to do everything possible to incite landlords to do the right thing in helping to prevent closures and ultimately, job losses.

For more information or to schedule media interviews, contact:
Michelle Wasylyshen at

About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline)

were $377 billion in 2017. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants.

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