September 30, 2020
Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Jim Flaherty Building
90 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5E9
Dear Minister Freeland:
On behalf of Ontario REALTORS®, I want to congratulate you on your recent appointment as Minister of Finance. I would also like to commend you on the impressive work you did on the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement in your role as Minister of Foreign Affairs. We were grateful to see that one of your first announcements in your new role was the reconfirmation of expanded access to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). We applaud your government for the steps that you have taken to encapsulate businesses who need access to government support programs but were previously disqualified.
In May, I wrote to Minister Morneau highlighting the challenges that many of our members faced as they looked to CEBA for assistance. After contacting their financial institution, the majority of them were turned away because they did not have an existing business account. We understand that there have been ongoing negotiations with Canada’s financial institutions to find a resolution. But with such a small window from now until the end of October (deadline for applications), our members are growing concerned at the lack of runway.
Based on a recent survey of our membership, we know that CEBA has been an important tool that our members have or are hoping to use. In particular, 17 percent of our members have already utilized CEBA allowing them to pay their support staff, executive assistants and rent. An additional 23 percent of our members, who have been barred from accessing CEBA, said they will apply when the government’s announced changes come into effect. Expanding the parameters of CEBA and making it more flexible for industries like the real estate sector will ensure our members can bridge this unprecedented challenge.
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We are committed to working with you and your team to ensure that our members are considered as decisions on these programs are made. If you, or your staff, have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Matthew Thornton,
OREA’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at 416-385-6624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Executive Officer
cc: Michael Bourque, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Real Estate Association