rent airports

Airports in Canada won't pay any more rent this year even if the rest of us need to

Airports in Canada won't have to pay rent until December, according to a federal government press release — even though Canadians across the country may need to.

The government will waive ground lease rent payments for 21 airport authorities across the country until December 21, saving airlines a staggering $331.4 million.

"We recognize the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on people and the economy," Finance Minister Bill Morneau said, "and that certain sectors, such as the air transportation industry, have suffered tremendously."

And Morneau is right — due to Canada's border restrictions and a decline in global travel, airlines and airports are both suffering enormously as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat have all announced layoffs of up to 50 per cent of their staff.

Notably, however, the Federal government has yet to announce a freeze on rents for the average Canadian, despite a petition with nearly a million signatures asking the Liberals to do so.

And some Canadians aren't happy about this latest development.

With more than 2.1 million Canadians applying for Employment Insurance and 33 per cent of Canadian businesses in serious financial trouble, many people can't afford to pay their monthly rent or mortgage.

And although the government is implementing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy so that businesses can keep employees on the payroll, the funds won't be available until May.

As a result, many businesses won't be able to afford to keep employees until funds are available — and in a typical roll-on effect, more unemployed Canadians will be unable to afford May rent.

So while it's admirable that the government is helping airports through a period of economic uncertainty, it's important not to lose sight of the millions of Canadian tenants that need help, too.

Lead photo by

Paul Hamilton

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