Small businesses in British Columbia will be protected from eviction for at least the next month by an emergency government order that aims to encourage landlords to apply for a federal rent relief program.
Finance Minister Carole James says a new order under the province's Emergency Program Act protects small businesses from eviction who cannot pay their rent due to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.
James says landlords who choose not to apply for the federal government's recent Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program will not be able to evict their business tenants for unpaid rent.
The federal program offers reductions of 75 per cent in monthly rent to small businesses by providing forgivable loans to landlords.
James says the federal and B.C. governments will cover 50 per cent of the rent payments, while the tenants are responsible for 25 per cent of the rent and landlords cover the remaining 25 per cent.
She says the B.C. eviction protection program could be extended beyond June.