Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns

Courtenay-Alberni MP fears imminent business collapse

Gord Johns says more than half the businesses in his riding don’t have enough money to pay rent

As May 1 approaches, Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns says more than half the businesses in his riding don’t have enough money to pay rent.

The NDP critic for Small Business and Tourism penned a letter Wednesday, April 29 to federal Small Business Minister Mary Ng to express concern about the lack of support for self-employed individuals and sole-proprietors across Canada.

In B.C., Johns said one-third of small businesses don’t believe they will qualify for government support. This is especially true for the ‘mom and pop businesses’ with less than five employees.

He said decisions have been left in the hands of landlords, not tenants. If the former opts to relax 25 per cent of rent, then half the rent program will be picked up by senior governments. Which leaves 25 per cent to the tenants.

“The CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business) says that one-third of businesses don’t trust their landlord to be reasonable,” Johns said in an interview. “The government can fix this simply by working with the provinces to institute a moratorium on all evictions, giving the government time to make a plan that helps all tenants.”

He notes government created a measurement that calls for a 70 per cent loss of revenue requirement, which leaves out too many businesses.

“A tiered system would support more businesses and ensure they could re-open their doors over the coming months. They’re using a 70 per cent drop in revenue for the requirement for the rent program, but they’re only using a 30 per cent drop in revenue for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. We’re calling on the government to use the same measurement.”

The NDP is also calling on the federal Liberals to use gross revenue as another measurement to offer scaled loans and non-repayable grants for businesses.

“I really believe that we are within a week of the greatest collapse of small businesses in the history of Canada, if the government doesn’t fix these programs and this rollout,” Johns said. “These are huge problems.”

READ: Courtenay-Alberni MP presses…

CoronavirusParksvillequalicum beach

Just Posted

Alongside Dr. King: Vancouver Island man honoured for civil rights work

Bill Duncan, 95, gets lifetime achievement award

Longtime Vancouver Island fishing family hooks into local market over wholesale

Locally caught fish are scarce in fishing towns, an irony one Sointula family is working to change

Sale of Vancouver Island’s most remote pub falls through

Beloved Holberg pub and restaurant The Scarlet Ibis is back with previous owner

Pay your parking ticket if you want, or don’t, Saanich doesn’t care

Current system a waste of resources, missed revenue opportunity, councillor says

Island tour operator keeps Indigenous culture alive through COVID-19 with virtual journeys

Campbell River based Homalco Tours is also in the process of setting up live cameras for bear viewing in Orford

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district considers COVID-19 lessons in planning for fall

Elementary, secondary school committees formed to plan for next school year

Young volunteers clean Vancouver Island beaches

Events held in Campbell River, Nanaimo, Comox, Powell River and Victoria

Most Read