“We will have to look very carefully at what we can do”: Trudeau’s travel update

“People will need to travel again,” says Trudeau; rent relief program unveiled

OTTAWA — Following up on news last week about rent relief for small businesses, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning announced a new program to help small businesses pay their rent for April, May and June.

More details will come out in the weeks to follow but so far it looks like businesses paying $50,000 or less in rent will have to pay only 25% of their rent for April, May and June.

Trudeau says the remaining 75% will be paid by the federal government and provincial governments (50%) and the landlord (25%).

The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program is expected to be up and running by mid-May.

Asked about hard-hit businesses that can’t cover the 25%, Trudeau pointed to other financial assistance programs for businesses put into place amid the pandemic, including loans through the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

Trudeau says he wants to make sure Canada and its economy can come back as quickly as possible once the pandemic has been contained.

He added: “This government will help Canadians who need help. Period.”

His speech this morning included some positive words about reopening the country’s businesses and getting life back to normal, while cautioning “it won’t be as simple or as easy as flipping a switch.”

But getting life back on track will include travel, he said. Recognizing that “some industries have been hit harder than others,” he added: “People will need to travel again. People will need to be tourists again.”

Canada just has to “get through this moment of hibernation, which Canadians are doing quite well, as you would imagine.”