MPP Bhutila Karpoche: Bill 204 & Save Main Street Plan

Dear small business owners,

I hope this email finds you safe and well. It has now been 6 months since we first started experiencing the impacts of COVID-19 and as we prepare for a second wave, I know that it is not getting any easier— especially on the business front. Working folks and small business owners deserve to have far more financial stability right now.

I am writing to you today to share two updates concerning small businesses:

I. The Passage of Bill 204

II. Save Main Street Plan: A Plan for Jobs and Financial Security for Working People

 

I. The Passage of Bill 204

Bill 204, which received the Royal Assent yesterday, proposed changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act to extend the temporary ban on evictions for commercial tenants. The moratorium on commercial evictions has been extended till October 30, 2020.

However, please note, the commercial eviction moratorium legislation is kept the same in that the obstacles for small business owners to benefit from this moratorium from the first time it was introduced still stands. It only offers protection for small businesses that are:

  • Eligible for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
  • Only applies to businesses with a 70 per cent drop in revenue

This bill doesn’t go nearly far enough; and it falls short of what small business owners need in the current crisis. Small businesses need direct supports as part of a real plan for economic recovery and a complete ban on commercial evictions until the pandemic is over.

II. Save Main Street Plan: A Plan for Jobs and Financial Security for Working People

In April, the Ontario NDP released Save Main Street plan to save jobs and keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic. On Friday September 25, cognizant of the second wave upon us, we updated that plan. Together with my colleagues in the NDP, I call on Premier Ford to immediately implement five key measures to further protect small businesses in this time of crisis.

1. Keep workers on the payroll

  • Immediately order a ban on all evictions, lockouts, or eviction threats by commercial landlords until the pandemic is over.
  • Institute a utility payment freeze for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Offer a stand-alone emergency 75% commercial rent subsidy.
  • Create a fund for businesses that face historic barriers.

2. Keep workers safe

  • Create a safe re-opening and remote work set up fund for small businesses.
  • Bring in Made in Ontario paid sick days for all.

3. Build the she-covery

  • Keep kids safe so parents can keep working.
  • Create more, safer child care spaces.
  • Create a dedicated re-training fund.

4. Stop insurance gouging

  • Institute an auto-insurance grace period.
  • Stop insurance gouging and stop insurance corporations from denying coverage based on COVID-19.
  • Mandate commercial vehicle insurance rebates.

5. Keep restaurant jobs afloat

  • Limit food delivery fees.

 

You can find the details of this plan here. I believe that only by investing in working folks will we come out of this pandemic healthier and more prosperous. I will keep pushing hard for this.

Small businesses are vital to our economy. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if there is anything else that I can do to be of support to you.

Warmly,

Bhutila Karpoche

MPP for Parkdale–High Park

e-mail: BKarpoche-co@ndp.on.ca

Phone: 416-763-5630