Green Party leader and Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner on Tuesday called on the Ontario government to launch a rent relief program for residents and businesses to further tackle mental health amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier Doug Ford announced a $12 million package for expanding mental health services across the province and, while Schreiner welcomes the funds, the MPP said he urges the government to commit further.
“I strongly urge the government to take more preventative action by relieving the financial hardship at the root of many people’s declining mental health,” Schreiner said in a release.
“Paying rent while covering all the other bills is a major source of anxiety for people, while small business owners are worried sick about being evicted. “
Several small businesses in Guelph have been forced out of spaces they had a lease for because of COVID-19 physical distancing requirements that have pushed many into offering a digital service.
‘The Premier must answer our call to deliver a rent relief program for individuals and families who can’t pay the rent due to lost income, along with a ban on commercial evictions,’ the MPP went on.
“For those on social assistance, the Premier must fully exempt the clawback of CERB, while topping up social assistance rates for those who do not qualify. “
(Reporting by Eli Ridder)