Erin O’Toole statement on support for small and medium sized businesses

November 03, 2020

Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Erin O’Toole, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives and of the Official Opposition, today issued the following statement on the Conservative Opposition Day motion calling for better supports for small and medium sized businesses:

“There is no Canadian economy without our small and medium sized businesses. It’s as simple as that. For Conservatives, these businesses are our country’s backbone, the local shops that keep communities together.

“In bringing forward today’s motion, our Conservative team sends a strong message on behalf of Canadians.

“The government should be postponing audits of these businesses until at least June 2021. Small business owners and their staff deserve better than this.

“We also ask for additional flexibility in the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and other support programs. While the government made it easy for everyone, including some wealthy individuals, to apply for the CERB, they keep adding red tape for small businesses.

“The rent relief program was far too restrictive and only allowed large landlords to apply for relief, rather than tenants. It required businesses to have lost 70 percent of their revenues in order to be eligible, but if your revenues fell by 69 percent, you got nothing.

“Today there are tens of thousands of businesses in Canada that aren’t getting the help they need – at a time when Canada already has the highest unemployment in the G7.

“And if they shut down, all of Canada suffers. That’s because small businesses provide employment for millions of Canadians from coast to coast.

“They help moms and dads work hard and provide for their families; they offer the first job out of school; like Rom Sandhu of Sandhu Computers in Edmonton, they are often set up and operated by new Canadians; and, they stayed open when so many Canadians worked from home.

“Justin Trudeau likes to pit Canadian workers against small businesses. I’m here to tell him Canadian workers want small businesses to stay open.

“Because whether he likes it or not, Canadians don’t want two more years of the CERB – they want to get back to work.”

The Conservative Opposition Day motion is:

That, given that the pandemic has had devastating consequences on Canadian workers and businesses, especially in the restaurant, hospitality and tourism sectors, the House call on the government to: (a) immediately pause the audits of small businesses that received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until at least June 2021; and (b) provide additional flexibility in the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, and other support program.

The motion can also be found here.