On October 9, 2020 the Federal Government announced its intention to “introduce new, targeted support to help hard-hit businesses and other organizations experiencing a drop in revenue” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of this new support includes the roll out of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (“CERS”). CERS will replace the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance ("CECRA") program and will provide rent and mortgage support to qualifying organizations until June 2021.

Unlike the CECRA program, CERS will be provided directly to commercial tenants, while also providing support to property owners. CERS will support businesses, charities and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by subsidizing a percentage of their expenses, up to a maximum of 65% of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. In addition to the 65% subsidy, organizations that have temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order will also be eligible for a CERS top-up of 25%.

We will provide more details on CERS when more information becomes available. In the meantime, commercial landlords and tenants should be mindful of these potential government benefits in any ongoing lease related discussions.

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