Multiple provinces have placed an outright ban on evictions, while others have placed an effective ban by closing down landlord and tenant boards.
It’s April 1st and rent payments are due for millions of Canadians for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic led to an economic shutdown and many layoffs.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have signed petitions, asking for the outright cancellation of rents and mortgage payments for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggests that’s not going to happen, but says the banks have been asked to give people a break if they need it.
With no federal guidance on the matter, provincial governments have offered various forms of rent relief to residents.
For example, the B.C. government is providing up to $500 as a rent rebate to those who have experienced a significant drop in their income due to the outbreak. In Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, landlords are not allowed to evict tenants.
Prince Edward Island has rolled out a million-dollar temporary rental assistance benefit to help affected renters make up the difference.
In Ontario, landlords can still give eviction notices, however, landlords are encouraged to work with tenants to establish fair arrangements to keep tenants in their homes, including deferring rent or other payment arrangements.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about rent payments during his daily briefing outside of his home at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. He discussed his government’s promised relief for small businesses, including wage subsidies and a $40,000 loan that would be interest-free for the first year and $10,000 of which would be non-repayable.
However, the prime minister did not address specific rent relief for tenants for April 1.
Applications for federal support payments and details about wage subsidies that are meant to help Canadians weather the storm are still to be released.
The Canadian Press