Canada

Trudeau's daily coronavirus update: The PM asks landlords to apply for rent relief (Full transcript)

In his May 20 briefing to Canadians, the PM announced a launch date for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, and outlined the details of new loans for big business

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a daily update on the coronavirus crisis each day in front of his home in Ottawa. Here are his remarks for May 20, 2020.

Over the last two months, Canadians have stepped up to keep each other safe, and because of those actions and those choices, in many parts of the country, we’re getting this virus under control. Now, that doesn’t mean we can let down our guard. What our progress does mean is that where it’s safe to do so, we can gradually and carefully restart some of our activities.

For many small business owners and their workers, being able to reopen is welcome news. Of course, this is not without its challenges. People need help getting back on their feet. That’s why we brought in new targeted support to get businesses going again. Use the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to rehire your workers. Access a loan to the Canada Emergency Business Account to adapt to new realities and contact your regional development agency where we’ve boosted funding if you don’t qualify for other supports. Thousands of business owners have already navigated the process and are getting the help they need. And if you’re not one of them yet, we’re making it simpler to find out what’s available. Go to the COVID-19 page at canada.ca. You’ll find a section that lays out all the programs based on what your need is from rehiring staff to accessing credit.

READ MORE: The long wait for rent relief, and what went wrong with Ottawa’s business rescue plan

Your business matters to your employees and to our country. In fact, it matters to our whole economy. So a concern for you is a concern for us, too. And that brings me to the question of your rent. Paying rent on your space might be a problem right now. We hear that. So we’re taking action. We’re creating the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. This benefit will provide forgivable loans to landlords so that they can reduce by 75 per cent the rent for small business tenants that have lost the majority of their revenue because of COVID-19. If you’re a landlord and you and your tenant are eligible, please apply. Go to CMHC.ca to get the details on what information you’ll need when the application portal opens starting May 25. Once this launches, you’ll receive your relief quickly. Our government, along with the provinces and territories, will cover 50 per cent of the rent. We’re asking that landlords absorb 25 per cent and tenants pay the rest with the support of programs like the CEBA. For larger retailers, we’re also working on a new support. And we’ll have more details to share soon.

These are challenging times, but together we can protect jobs and make sure that our economy bounces back. And that will be good for everyone.

Your job is how you support yourself and your family, and no matter what you do, no matter how many other people your workplace employs, we need to protect that. In addition to our support for small businesses, we’ve also brought in help for companies of every size. Last week, we launched the large employer emergency financing facility to provide bridge loans for the country’s largest employers. As of today, applications for this financing are open. These loans will be delivered through the Canada Development Investment Corporation in cooperation with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Department of Finance. Our priority is that this program be fair and effective. Loans will be designed with a clear goal: protecting jobs and helping our economy rebound. Businesses can go online to see cdev.gc.ca for more information on the application process. I want to be clear. We are not offering companies a bailout. We are making loans available so that they can weather this storm and continue to employ millions of hardworking Canadians.

I want to end this morning by reminding parents that when you receive your Canada Child Benefit payment today, it will include an extra $300 per child. This is money to help you through this very tough time.