Posted on Jun 2, 2020


EDMONTON -- Without immediate assistance from Jason Kenney’s UCP government, businesses are warning that many may be forced to close. 

The NDP Official Opposition are renewing their call for Jason Kenney’s UCP government to implement a commercial eviction ban after British Columbia introduced their own ban on Monday.

In British Columbia, landlords who are eligible for emergency federal rent relief and choose not to apply will not be able to evict businesses that aren't able to pay rent due to lost revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Once again, we see other provinces showing leadership on supporting small businesses through the pandemic while Jason Kenney and the UCP drag their feet,” said Rachel Notley, NDP Official Opposition Leader. “In order to save these businesses and the jobs that go with them, we need an eviction ban.” 

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) is a program negotiated between the federal and provincial governments to help businesses pay for rent during the COVID-19 pandemic and requires landlords and tenants to apply for assistance together. Applications for CECRA opened May 25, but businesses have been raising the alarm that landlords have refused to participate in the program. 

In a letter from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Restaurants Canada, Alberta Chamber of Commerce, and Retail Council of Canada, the group called on Premier Kenney to implement an eviction ban. They wrote that, “Without your immediate assistance, more businesses will be forced to close. In the absence of sufficient support, a large portion of the economy and the jobs created by our hard-working members will disappear forever.”

“Businesses are practically begging for an eviction ban, and Jason Kenney has turned his back on them,” said Notley. “The Premier likes to claim we are ‘open for business,’ but if he refuses to act many of these businesses will never reopen. That falls squarely at the feet of the Premier and his UCP government.”