Status: Bill 23 introduced June 16, 2020
Ministry responsible: Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

Overview

Bill 23, the Commercial Tenancies Protection Act, has been introduced to protect eligible commercial tenants experiencing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new measures would help address gaps in the federal government’s Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.

Bill 23 protections would apply from March 17, 2020 to August 31, 2020 and would allow government to create a regulation to extend the dates.

Businesses and commercial landlords can still complete our survey to tell us about challenges making or receiving rent payments due to COVID-19.

Key changes

If passed, Bill 23 and the upcoming regulation would:

  • protect eligible commercial tenants from having their leases terminated if they can’t pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • prevent landlords from raising rent and charging late fees and penalties on missed rent
    • If passed, any late fees, penalties, or rent increases imposed on a commercial tenant by their landlord between March 17, 2020 and August 31, 2020 would need to be reimbursed.

Protections would apply to:

  • commercial tenants with tenancy agreements eligible for the CECRA program, but whose landlords have chosen not to participate
  • commercial lease agreements where tenants have had to close their business due to public health orders or have had their business revenue decline by 25% or more as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

Tenants and landlords would need to work together to develop a rent payment plan for missed payments. If a tenant’s actions violate any lease provisions other than those covered by the Act, the tenant may be evicted or penalized in accordance to the lease’s terms.

The legislation would not apply to evictions or lease terminations that happened before the legislation was tabled on June 16, 2020.

Next steps

If passed, Bill 23 will take retroactive effect starting on March 17, 2020 upon receiving royal assent.

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