Table of contents

Status: Bill 23 received royal assent July 23, 2020 and took effect retroactive on March 17, 2020
Ministry responsible: Jobs, Economy and Innovation

Overview

We introduced the Commercial Tenancies Protection Act and regulation to protect eligible commercial tenants experiencing financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures helped address gaps in the federal government’s Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program by protecting a wider range of tenants than were eligible for the program and tenants whose landlords decided not to apply.

The act's protections apply for the period beginning on March 17, 2020 and ending on August 31, 2020.

Key changes

The act and regulation:

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

Protections apply to:

  • commercial tenants with tenancy agreements eligible for the CECRA program, but whose landlords chose not to participate
  • commercial lease agreements where tenants had to close their business due to public health orders or had their business revenue decline by 25% or more as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This protected tenants who did not meet the eligibility criteria of a 70% revenue decline required under the CECRA program
    • in order for a tenant to be eligible for protection under the act, monthly rents must have been less than $50,000 per location and the tenant's business must have had less than $20 million in revenues (at the parent level)

Tenants and landlords needed to work together to develop a rent payment plan for missed payments. Tenant’s actions that violated any lease provisions other than those covered by the act could be evicted or penalized in accordance with the terms of the lease.

The legislation did not apply to:

  • commercial premises where the landlord had received a forgivable loan under the CECRA program for that commercial premises
  • evictions or lease terminations that happened before the legislation was tabled on June 16, 2020

Next steps

Upon receiving royal assent on July 23, 2020, the act took retroactive effect, with protections applying for the period beginning on March 17, 2020 and ending on August 31, 2020.

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