COVID-19: New rent relief program

Businesses face wide-ranging issues as the world responds to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Here is the latest guidance from Torys.

The federal government has introduced a new program, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which will provide direct financial support to Canadian businesses, non-profits and charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. CERS replaces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) and addresses many of the criticisms of CECRA—by introducing a more accessible, tenant-friendly form of financial support which does not require the co-operation of landlords or the need to negotiate rent reduction agreements. Larger tenants may also be eligible as CERS does not impose maximum rent thresholds. However, the new program is not without its own set of challenges: tenants are to pay rent before being able to apply for CERS benefits which may be very difficult for tenants who do not have the cash flow to do so; and the subsidy comes with certain restrictions around eligible expenses.

For our complete details and analysis of the new CERS program, including eligibility requirements, see our detailed guidance.

Read all our COVID-19 guidance for organizations on

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