Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Chair, in cities and towns across Canada, small businesses are the backbones of our local economies. They are also pillars of our communities. Even during these challenging times, we have seen restaurants and other businesses step up to deliver meals to front-line workers and make donations to our local food banks. So many have supported Scarborough Health Network's meals on wheels program. Their leadership has been inspiring.
I have heard from many small business owners in Scarborough, from dentists to small manufacturers, who are having trouble paying their commercial rents due to the sharp downturn in business caused by COVID-19. They are interested in how programs like the Canada emergency commercial rent assistance program would help them to stay in business, but they worry that these programs may not be able to help if their landlords don't participate. These small businesses are crucial to our community.
Could the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade please explain why it is so important that the landlords participate to help small businesses make it through the pandemic and how we are working to make this program a success, not just here in Scarborough but across Canada?