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Coronavirus: Ford says no to pausing commercial evictions in Ontario

Ontario has effectively banned residential evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many business groups and opposition parties have been calling on the province to do the same for commercial tenants.

The calls have been growing louder as Saturday approaches — the day when landlords could change the locks on businesses for non-payment of May’s rent.

But Ford says there could be legal implications if the government wades into long-term lease contracts.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario to suspend all eviction notices, enforcement amid COVID-19 spread

He says he is pleading with landlords to be flexible, and notes that under a federal-provincial rent relief program, landlords would still get 75 per cent of the rent, as opposed to zero if they just lock out a tenant.

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Ford says “vicious landlords” drive him crazy and that property owners should support their commercial tenants at this time.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 61% of Toronto businesses would close down in 3 months, survey says

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 341 new COVID-19 cases today and 27 more deaths.

The province also says that due to a glitch, Thursday’s numbers were under-reported, so there were actually 345 new cases that day, instead of the reported 258.

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The new total of cases in the province is 21,922, including 1,825 deaths and 16,641 cases that have been resolved.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Curbside pickup doesn’t change much for many Toronto business owners

The adjusted numbers mean that the growth rate of new cases has been a steady 1.6 per cent over the past three days.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says Ontario’s new daily cases are still on a downward trend.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 dropped sharply, from 1,026 to 986, and the amount of people in intensive care and on ventilators decreased too.

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