Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance

On April 24, 2020, the Government of Canada announced additional details about the proposed Canada Emergency Commercial Rental Assistance (CECRA) program.  The CECRA is expected to provide financial support to commercial property owners that temporarily reduce monthly rent by 75% for affected small businesses tenants.


Under the CECRA, commercial property owners may apply for a forgivable loan equal to 50% of rent due for April, May, and June 2020 by eligible small business tenants experiencing financial hardship.

The loan would be forgiven if the commercial property owner agrees, under a rent forgiveness agreement, to reduce the eligible small business tenant’s rent by at least 75% for the months of April, May, and June 2020.  The commercial property owner must also pledge not to evict the tenant while the rent forgiveness agreement is in place.


The CECRA is expected to be available in respect of tenants:

  • Paying less than $50,000 per month in rent;
  • Who have temporarily ceased operations, or have experienced a 70% drop in revenue, due to Covid-19; and
  • Who are, or will be, able to pay up to 25% of rent due for April, May, and June 2020.

The program is available for small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and charities.


CECRA applications are not expected to be available until mid-May 2020.  The Government of Canada is asking commercial property owners to be flexible with tenants in the meantime.

We expect the Government of Canada to release draft legislation with more details, and for that legislation to be debated in Parliament in an emergency session, and we will advise once these details are released.