'These businesses need real support': NDP says online survey for businesses and landlords won't help tenants pay rent
EDMONTON -- The provincial government has introduced an online survey to find out what kinds of rent challenges businesses are facing during the pandemic.
The results will help the government figure out which issues are the most prevalent, and whether or not businesses have access to the supports they need.
“We expect businesses and landlords to work together in a respectful and fair manner during this challenging time. We strongly encourage landlords to participate in the CECRA program and to be flexible and understanding of their tenants’ financial circumstances,” said Minister of Economic Development Tanya Fir. “We are asking businesses to pay their rent as fully and consistently as possible, if they can. This isn’t an easy time for anyone – but by working together, we will get through these tough times.”
But the official opposition said that a survey doesn’t go far enough to help businesses.
“Jason Kenney needs to stop waiting. Rent is due in seven days. These businesses need real support - not a survey,” NDP leader Rachel Notley said in a news release.
“Our caucus started hearing from businesses over two months ago, they don’t need to wait another two months while Jason Kenney asks questions he should already know the answer to.”
Alberta has also joined with other provinces and territories and the federal government in the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program to help businesses. The program, which is administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, began accepting applications on Monday.
“Many businesses are now behind on rent payments, and instead of stepping up to support small businesses, Jason Kenney let Ottawa take the lead and design a solution,” Notley said.
“The program doesn’t work for Alberta. Jason Kenney and Justin Trudeau’s commercial rent program is broken. This has led to many small businesses falling through the cracks and not getting the support they need to survive.”