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Someone Slipped…Who Takes the Fall? The Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021

The Occupiers’ Liability Act (Ontario) (the “OLA”) has recently been amended by the Occupiers’ Liability Amendment Act (the “OLAA”), which came into force on December 8, 2020. The OLAA brings a sigh of relief to landlords and tenants who may be liable as “occupiers” under the OLA...

Ontario’s Moratorium on Commercial Evictions: The Saga Continues

Thursday, Jan 14, 2021

The end date of the CECRA Tenant Non-Enforcement Period was left blank, to be completed by a future regulation. There was another important blank: Schedule 5 of the Act states that it applies to tenancies that satisfy the “prescribed criteria”. This opened the door to expanding the group of tenants to which the Act applies...

Ontario Extends Moratorium on Evictions: Where Do Landlords Stand?

Friday, Dec 18, 2020

On December 8, 2020, the Ontario legislature passed Bill 229 under the name “Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020” (the “Act”). Schedule 5 of the Act prohibits landlords who were (or would have been) eligible to (or did) receive assistance under the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance programme (“CECRA”), from evicting or distraining against the goods of CECRA-eligible tenants for the period beginning October 31, 2020 and ending on an unspecified future date (the “Non-Enforcement Period”)...

Giving Credit Where it is Due

Friday, Nov 27, 2020

For several years, it has been widely believed that letters of credit are an excellent form of security for landlords, providing a straight route to cash in the event of a tenant default, irrespective of the tenant’s bankruptcy. This belief, however, was supported by a disparate body of conflicting case law…until now. In 7636156 Canada Inc. (Re), the Ontario Court of Appeal laid any lingering concerns to rest, by confirming the enduring nature of letters of credit in a clear and authoritative decision...

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy: An Update

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020

On November 2, 2020, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland introduced the legislation that will implement the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (“CERS”). The new bill, called Bill C-9, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy), has recently passed its third reading in the House of Commons and should receive royal assent and become law soon. On November 5, 2020, Ottawa released two technical backgrounders describing the CERS and what has been termed “Lockdown Support” (being the additional subsidy available to businesses significantly affected by public health orders). While the CERS is still not yet available (and there is no indication as to when it will be), by introducing Bill C-9 into Parliament and releasing the initial technical backgrounders, the government has provided a glimmer of hope that relief will soon be accessible (for those that are eligible). This News ReLease provides an update on what is known to date...

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020

The federal government announced (on October 9, 2020) a new rent relief program for businesses that continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The long-awaited program is called the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). The announcement came slightly more than a week after the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) relief period ended (on September 30, 2020)...

Ontario's New Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, 2020

Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020

With the expiration of Ontario’s Protecting Small Business Act, 2020 (the “PSBA”) on September 1, 2020, and the federal government’s September 17th announcement that the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA”) program was extended for the month of September, the government of Ontario tabled the Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act, 2020 (the “HTSBA”). In this News ReLease we provide an update on the CECRA program, an overview of the HTSBA and outline the tenancies to which it applies...

Getting Around the Principle of Immunity

Tuesday, Sep 08, 2020

We think it is time to return to our regularly scheduled programming and write about Lease Law, without everything having to be COVID related all the time. Years ago (in 1975 and 1977), the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a tenant could rely on its landlord’s insurance policy in certain circumstances. Many a lawyer has tried to help their landlord clients to “contract out” of the law laid down by those cases, often referred to as the “Trilogy”. The wording necessary to avoid the legal principle (called the “principle of immunity”) was not clear. However, the recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, Royal Host Limited Partnership (General partner of) v. 1842259 Ontario Ltd. clarified how to contract out of the principle of immunity – a relief to long-baffled landlords...

Bankruptcy Trustee Successfully Asserts Extension of Subsection 38(2) Commercial Tenancies Act Rights After Landlord Argues Lease was Surrendered

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2020

The Ontario Superior Court recently granted a bankruptcy trustee access to a premises and the right to assign a lease, despite the landlord’s claim that the same trustee, acting as receiver, had previously surrendered the lease to the landlord. Further, the Court extended the trustee’s time period within which to exercise those rights...

CECRA Update - Application Portal is Open

Monday, Jun 01, 2020

The application portal for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program is finally open. Property owners were asked to register for their CECRA accounts according to a specific schedule last week, but, as of last Friday, all property owners are free to register. In this News ReLease we discuss the application process, what is needed to apply and more recent changes to CECRA...

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