When Ontario’s commercial eviction freeze ends on Aug. 31, alongside the business rent subsidy program, business leaders say evictions will start to pile up.

Ryan Mallough, the director of provincial affairs, Ontario for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), said the organization expects to see eviction notices start rolling mid-September.

Rent has been the biggest expense for business owners throughout the pandemic, but there hasn’t been enough support to help commercial tenants and their landlords pull through, Mallough said.

“Our numbers show that only about 17 per cent of Ontario businesses have used the (rent subsidy) program,” he said.

The CFIB put out a call to change the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) in July, calling it “unfair and arbitrary” that businesses had to rely on landlords to apply for the subsidy.

Almost $3 billion was budgeted for the program, but as of July, the federal government’s fiscal

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