Trudeau set to unveil new plan to help companies pay rent

Kait Bolongaro

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil a new plan Friday to help businesses pay their rent amid a second wave of coronavirus in Canada.

The program will be available nationally, with companies eligible for more money if they have been forced to close due to local shutdown orders, according to a government official who asked not to be identified.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a press conference at the Ford Connectivity and Innovation Centre in Ottawa , Ontario, on Thursday, Oct. 8 2020.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week the government was working on a new program to replace the Canada Emergency Commercial Rental Assistance program, which expired Sept. 30. That program distributed less than C$2 billion ($1.5 billion). Many businesses weren’t able to access because it required commercial landlords to apply on their behalf and landlords had to agree to cut rent by as much as 25%.

Case numbers have been rising in Canada and in some areas, including Montreal, businesses are facing new restrictions. Ontario’s cabinet is holding an emergency meeting Friday to discuss closing businesses in three regions including Toronto and Ottawa to quell an outbreak of Covid-19, according to a report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Other announcements are expected on increased funding for food banks and Covid-19 health modeling. Trudeau’s press conference is scheduled for 12 p.m.