May 27th, 2020
May 27th, 2020
QUEEN’S PARK — Suze Morrison, Ontario NDP Tenant Rights critic, said it’s simply wrong for Doug Ford to capitalize on a pandemic to quietly ram through legislation that will make it easier for landlords to evict tenants.
Bill 184, Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, which passed second reading today, does the opposite of what its name suggests. The bill prevents tenants from bringing up issues like their landlord failing to make repairs to their unit during hearings for non-payment of rent, and skips straight from repayment agreement for back rent to eviction order without any hearing for the tenant if they miss a payment.
“It was always wrong for the Ford government to attempt to make evictions easier, and it’s even worse to use the pandemic as a cover to sneak through changes that will hurt tenants,” said Morrison. “Tenants are frantically treading water to stay afloat during the pandemic, because the Ford government has refused to provide rent relief.
“That has left so many tenants to watch thousands of dollars of back rent pile up, which their landlords will no doubt come calling for when the temporary pause on evictions ends. If this bill passes, landlords are going to find it even easier to push tenants out.”
Along with a ban on disconnections and lockouts and a freeze on rent increases, the Ontario NDP has called for a rent subsidy of 80 per cent for up to $2,500 for four months for tenants who have lost income due to the pandemic. During the pandemic, tenants have continued to receive notices of eviction and rent increases.
“Tenants deserve so much better than to be abandoned in their time of need, and then be put on the fast-track to eviction,” said Morrison. “We should be doing more to help tenants keep a roof over their heads — now and after the pandemic has passed — not less.”