Local News Releases
Ontario provides urgent rent relief for small businesses and landlords
Assistance is in addition to previous measures to support businesses during COVID-19 pandemic
APRIL 24, 2020 — MPP Daryl Kramp welcomes the announcement by the Ontario Government that it is partnering with the federal government to provide urgent relief for small businesses and landlords affected by COVID-19. He notes it will make a significant difference for our local small business communities, both for commercial tenants and their landlords.
“This is the small business announcement we have been waiting for and into which there’s been a lot of local input,” said Kramp. “We’ve all seen the stress and strains caused to our community and how much we depend on the return of all of our businesses once this crisis subsides.”
Ontario is committing $241 million through the new Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The total amount of provincial-federal relief that would be provided is more than $900 million, helping to ensure small businesses are ready to re-open their doors when the emergency measures are lifted.
The program has been developed to share the cost between small business tenants and landlords. Small business tenants and landlords would each be asked to pay 25 per cent of the before-profit costs and the provincial and federal government would cost-share the remaining 50 per cent.
Details of the new program were announced today by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.
“The vast majority of Ontario’s small businesses and landlords are struggling during this extraordinary public health emergency,” said Premier Ford. “That’s why we are doing everything we can to support them through these tough economic times, so they can hit the ground running when we are in a position to open up the provincial economy. I want to thank the federal government for partnering with us to help our small businesses and commercial landlords. I look forward to working together to also provide much-needed support to residential renters ahead of May 1.”
The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. To receive the loan, property owners will be required to reduce the rental costs of small business tenants for April to June 2020 by at least 75 per cent and commit to a moratorium on evictions for three months.
Partnering with the federal government on the OCECRA builds on the provincial government’s approach to supporting business during COVID-19. As part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the government has implemented a series of cash flow supports amounting to $10 billion to help support jobs and the economy, including:
- Doubling the Employer Health Tax exemption for 2020, cutting taxes by $355 million, benefiting roughly 57,000 employers;
- Eliminating penalties and interest to businesses who miss filing or remittance deadlines for various provincially administered taxes for five months starting April 1, 2020, providing up to $6 billion in cashflow for about 100,000 Ontario businesses;
- Postponing the planned property tax reassessment for 2021, providing stability for Ontario’s property taxpayers;
- Deferring the upcoming quarterly (June 30) remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, providing municipalities with the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals of over $1.8 billion to local residents and businesses
- Implementing the new Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit for businesses that make eligible capital investments in designated regions of the province where employment growth has significantly lagged behind below the provincial average.
Ontario has also suspended time-of-use electricity rates for eligible small businesses, as well as residential and farm time-of-use customers, holding electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 10.1 cents-per-kilowatt-hour, for 24 hours per day, seven days a week for 45 days, for all time-of-use customers, who make up the majority of electricity consumers in the province. By switching to a fixed off-peak rate, time-of-use customers will see rate reductions of over 50 per cent compared to on-peak rates.
“To help stop the spread of COVID-19, businesses have closed their doors and employees have stayed home and that has been working, but it has also created significant financial hardship,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. “By subsidizing rent payments, reducing taxes, extending deadlines, and eliminating penalties and interest, we’re helping to ensure businesses can start up quickly when the time is right.”
The Ontario government has also worked with the federal government to develop the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank. This program will help businesses meet cash flow requirements through guaranteed loans.
“Ontario’s small and medium-sized businesses are vital to our economy and include some of the hardest-working people in the world who have rolled up their sleeves to support our frontline healthcare workers, and beat this virus,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “This package of supports will help them get through these difficult days and resume normal operations as soon as possible.”
“In the months ahead, small businesses will be critical to Ontario’s economic recovery. Together with our federal partners, we are ensuring we support our small businesses today, so that they can continue to create opportunities for hardworking Ontario families tomorrow,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “With rents coming due, it’s extremely important that the federal government move quickly to implement this program and get small businesses and property owners the support they urgently need.”
- The Province’s $241 million investment in OCECRA is part of the $17 billion Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
- The government has retroactively, to January 1, 2020, raised the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption to $1 million from $490,000 for 2020, providing additional EHT relief of up to $9,945 per eligible employer.
- Starting January 1, 2020, Ontario reduced the small business Corporate Income Tax rate from 3.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent.
Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA)
See how your organization can help fight COVID-19
Information and advice to help your business navigate the economy during COVID-19
Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19
Celebrate Ontario supports local theatre group, Elvis for 2019
Tweed and Company Theatre and Tweed Elvis Festival given CO grants
TWEED – June 3, 2019 – MPP Daryl Kramp is pleased to announce that two local not-for-profit groups in Hastings-Lennox and Addington are recipients of 2019 Celebrate Ontario grants to help fund their events.
The Tweed and Company Theatre group is receiving a grant of $15,000 to mount their production of The Haunting of Hungerford House. The second successful local applicant, Tweed Music Festivals, is receiving a grant of $8,294 for its annual Tweed Elvis Festival.
“I am happy to see these groups rewarded for their hard work, and I encourage them and others to apply through next year’s Celebrate Ontario program,” said MPP Kramp.
The 2019 Celebrate Ontario program was one of the most successful in the province’s history, with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport receiving over 400 individual submissions. Each was weighed against a list of criteria that included public accessibility of live music, the role of community based, not-for-profit organizations, whether located in rural and northern areas where community and corporate partnerships may not be as readily available, and a priority for events that show greatest impact for funding – larger visitor numbers, and high levels of visitor spending. In total, over $13 million is being invested in over 250 festivals and events in communities across the province, plus another $4 million in additional funding for larger events.
For 2019, the application process was simplified for Celebrate Ontario, and this was met with a positive response from applicants. A significant focus was put on providing support to new and emerging events across the province. Festivals and events that demonstrate a clear return on investment, and a respect for taxpayer dollars, with a focus on increasing Ontario tourism were scored higher than in previous years.
EORN high-speed internet and cellular service receives
Province of Ontario green light for $71M funding
MPP Kramp hails jobs and municipal / provincial cooperation
ROSENEATH – May 17, 2019 – H-L&A MPP Daryl Kramp joined Monte McNaughton, Ontario Infrastructure Minister, and other MPPs and local politicians today at the announcement of guaranteed provincial funding of $71 million for the completion of the Eastern Ontario Regional Network of high-speed cellular and internet broadband.
“When I was first involved in EORN as an MP a few years back there were those who told us the terrain was too rugged for modern communications,” said Kramp. “We proved them wrong then, and now this second phase will complete the coverage. I pay tribute to all the Wardens, Mayors, CAOs and others in the Eastern Counties and municipalities who worked on this.”
“The original EORN investment has made a huge difference across the region but it highlighted the gaps in the north and south that remained,” said Kramp. “This second phase eliminates the gaps and will provide the security of emergency communications and internet access for all.”
In his remarks, Minister McNaughton also highlighted the construction jobs and long-term economic impact in fulfilling the promise made to the area.
“Our government has committed to help people get the broadband and cellular connections they need,” said McNaughton. “This is a matter of both public safety and economic opportunity.”
The public-private initiative requires contributions from the federal government as well as private sector and municipal partners. Total value of the project is estimated at $213 million and is expected to generate up to 3,000 jobs over 10 years and potential revenues of $420 million.
“Too often, Eastern Ontario residents find themselves with no signal or dropped cell services,” said EORN chair J. Murray Jones. “EORN is building on the investment we’ve already made in broadband infrastructure across the region to close the gap in mobile services and improve economic growth, quality of life and public safety.”
In the 2019 Ontario Budget, the provincial government committed $315 million over the next five years to regional and shovel-ready projects.
Hastings-Lennox and Addington to receive over $6.75 Million to help sustain, repair and grow community housing, and help end homelessness
NAPANEE/MADOC - April 18, 2019 - Hastings and Lennox and Addington counties will receive more than $6.75 million as part of the Ontario government effort to put people first. A total of over $1 billion in 2018-19 will help sustain, repair and grow community housing and help end homelessness.
H-L&A MPP Daryl Kramp welcomes the announcement from Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark and Ontario’s new Community Housing Renewal Strategy.
“This is the kind of leadership and forward thinking that will help our communities and non-profits to address safety, overcrowding and long wait lists,” said MPP Kramp.
Under the funding, Hastings and Lennox and Addington counties will receive: $1,109,600 in Investment in Affordable Housing Ontario funding $2,979,908 through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative $1,762,500 under the Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative $269,337 from the Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative
“Our plan will transform a fragmented and inefficient system into one that is more streamlined, sustainable and ready to help people who need it most. We believe Ontario families shouldn’t have to live in buildings with crumbling walls, leaking roofs and broken elevators,” said Clark.
Ontario’s new Community Housing Renewal Strategy includes: Encouraging tenants to seek opportunities at school and work by removing existing penalties for working more hours or going to college or university. Making rent more predictable by simplifying rent calculations. Freeing up the waitlist by having tenants prioritize their first choice and accept the unit they are offered, while allowing Service Managers flexibility to make exceptions in some circumstances. Protecting tenants who receive child support by ensuring their rent isn’t impacted by payments. Making housing available to those who truly need it by requiring an asset test. Making housing safer by empowering housing providers to turn away tenants who have been evicted for criminal activity.
QUICK FACTS In 2014-18, Ontario contributed 57 per cent of housing and homelessness spending, compared with just 17 per cent from the federal government. Community housing is provided by non-profit, co-operative and municipal housing agencies. It includes a range of programs from subsidized social and affordable housing, including housing for Indigenous people, to rent supplements and portable housing benefits that help people find housing in the private market.
Ontario Invests in Small and Rural Municipalities to Improve Service Delivery and Efficiency
Investments Will Support Communities, Respect Taxpayer Dollars
Madoc/Napanee — March 20, 2019 — Ontario’s government is working for the people to improve local service delivery and efficiency in the province’s municipalities. Today, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced a one-time investment for many of Ontario’s small and rural municipalities.
“This will make a big difference for the many small and rural communities in our riding,” said Daryl Kramp, MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington. “Some have had real fiscal challenges. Our Government has listened and heard about our local needs.”
The upper tier municipalities of Hastings County and Lennox and Addington County will each receive the maximum of $725,000, while each municipality within the two counties will also receive funding based on the number of households. For 13 Hastings municipalities that will amount to over $5.5 million and for the four Lennox and Addington municipalities the total is over $2.1 million. Each municipality is receiving notice of the amount to be received this week.
The program’s goal is for municipalities to improve service delivery by finding smarter, more efficient ways to spend money that help those who need it most while respecting taxpayer dollars. This will provide important support to small and rural municipalities which may have limited capacity to plan, modernize and improve the way they provide services to their communities.
“Taxpayers need their local government to deliver modern, efficient services that show respect for their hard-earned dollars. This funding will help small and rural municipalities improve how they deliver services and reduce the ongoing costs of providing those services,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “I look forward to continuing to work together with our municipal partners to help people and businesses in communities across our province thrive.”
Ontario’s government for the people was elected to restore transparency and accountability in Ontario’s finances. The province undertook a line-by-line review of its own expenditures, and we have been clear that we expect our partners, including municipalities, to be taking steps to become more efficient. Examples could include service delivery reviews, development of shared services agreements, IT solutions, capital investments or other projects. Municipalities will decide how to best target funding to benefit their local communities.
The funding supports Ontario’s commitment to reduce the cost of government.
- Maximum of $725,000 per municipality.
- 405 small and rural municipalities will receive funding.
- To ensure investments are targeted to where they are needed most, funding will be allocated based on the number of households in a municipality and whether the municipality is urban or rural.