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."
Government announces support for air transportation sector during COVID-19 pandemic https://t.co/S138Izryse— GC Newsroom (@NewsroomGC) March 30, 2020
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.
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.
but i have to pay my rent lmao— 𝔭𝔢𝔬𝔭𝔩𝔢 𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔯 𝔭𝔯𝔬𝔣𝔦𝔱 (@bundtcheeks) April 1, 2020
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.
Wow so we CAN suspend rent payments, we’re just gonna do it for airlines and not human beings. Good to know, good to know.— ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@lovablelout) April 1, 2020
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.
Hey great, any chance of rent support for people who aren't businesses, too?— Hannah 🍁 (@HomarusHannah) March 31, 2020
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.
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