Small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are getting rent relief.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance which will see a 75-percent reduction of commercial rent.  Trudeau says non-profits and charities will be eligible for the program.  The program is for businesses that pay less than $50,000  in commercial rent. The agreement has been reached with the provinces and territories which oversee rent.    It will cover rent for April, May and, June with tenants paying a quarter, landlords paying a quarter, and provincial and federal governments splitting the rest.

Trudeau says he will hold a First Minister’s conference call this afternoon where premiers will continue to discuss a re-opening of the economy however Trudeau says it must be done in a gradual manner, “This won’t happen one day to the next, it must happen slowly.  We must be very careful.”

Trudeau reminded Canadians there would be a mment of silence at 2 p.m. Atlantic Time, 1 p.m. Eastern Time, 11 a.m. Mountain Time and 10 a.m. Pacific Time to honour the victims of the Nova Scotia mass shooting including Constable Heidi Stephenson.  He also reminded people of the virtual vigil Nova Scotia Remembers being held this evening on Facebook and YouTube.