On May 6, 2020 – the Ontario BIA Association, the Economic Developers Association of Ontario and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario released the following letter:
Hon. Rod Phillips
Chair, Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee
Government of Ontario
Ministry office, Ministry of Finance
Frost Building South, 7th Floor
7 Queen’s Park Cres.
Toronto, ON M7A 1Y7
Dear Minister Phillips,
On behalf of the members of the Economic Developers Council of Ontario. Ontario Business Improvement Area Association and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, we would like to commend the Province for the creation of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee.
While the work of the Recovery Committee is referred to in many press releases, the mandate is thus far unclear. Our members have been contacting our collective organizations with questions, some of which are:
- What are the terms of reference of the Recovery Committee?
- How and when will this Committee engage the Stakeholders in soliciting advice to support jobs and economic recovery post-COVID-19?
- We are aware of the structure of the Advisory Panels created by the MHSTCI and would ask for clarity around how other Ministries will be approaching the solicitation of advice?
EDCO, OBIAA and TIAO, and our collective members, stand together in the fight to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, but each organization will have defined roles moving forward. We (EDCO, OBIAA and TIAO) feel it is crucial to have an integrated approach. Our organizations are each engaged with partners from across the globe and can bring a wealth of knowledge to the committee. While we have been vigilant in communicating with the Province, our Municipalities and the Government of Canada, for the most part we have growing and unanswered concerns for our collective economies. All three organizations are pivotal in building and celebrating our communities that are the cultural fabric of our heritage and backbone of Ontario’s economy. …communities that are being lost as each day passes.
Many of our members are small businesses that support local artisans and musicians who drive tourism to our rural communities. Currently their urgent need is paying their rent. While we feel the OCECRA made strides, we are increasingly seeing, hearing and reading that landlords may not apply for this program. Evictions are happening now and only those whose landlords apply for the OCECRA are protected. We are proposing two amendments to the program:
- Put rent relief in the hands of the tenants. To accomplish this, we recommend that mandating all landlords to enroll in CECRA if their tenants qualify.
- Freeze rent evictions by passing legislation for a moratorium on commercial evictions for a minimum of six months (to be applied to tenants who were in good standing as of March 15).
- That the 70% threshold be reviewed and, if necessary, reduced (e.g. a 70% threshold if your rent is above $5,000 and 50% below $5,000)
Organizations, such as ours, have growing concerns in the cost to our collective members. We have credibility with our members and in our industries and can provide two-way access to our members which can provide viable solutions for your recovery team.
We stand united in offering our assistance in the rebuilding of the communities and the economies of our Province and urge you to work closely with us.
We are key partners in recovery.
|Heather Lalonde||Kay Matthews||Beth Potter|
|Economic Developers Council of Ontario||Ontario BIA Association||Tourism Industry Association of Ontario|
The Economic Developers Council of Ontario is Canada’s largest professional economic development association. EDCO supports its members through increasing the capacity of economic development professionals through its strategic partnerships, professional development and events that results in vibrant, prosperous communities in the Province of Ontario. (www.edco.on.ca)
The Ontario Business Improvement Area Association is the network that represents unique and vibrant BIAs across Ontario. The Association, incorporated in 2001, supports and advocates on behalf of its members through the building and nurturing of strong relationships and partnerships. OBIAA is a leader in the development and sharing of information, tools, resources and best practices, and is the ONE voice on common issues. (www.obiaa.com)
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario works on behalf of their membership, collectively representing 188,000 businesses and 391,000 employees, to take on pressing policy issues that impact the Ontario tourism industry. TIAO leads the way in government relations on behalf of the Ontario tourism industry, including tourism businesses and operators, destination marketing organizations, regional tourism organizations, and educators. We provide evidenced-based policy recommendations to ensure the provincial government understands and addresses the multifaceted needs of the tourism industry. (www.tiaontario.ca)