MPPs say evictions should be off until pandemic officially over
QUEEN’S PARK — On Tuesday, MPPs Jill Andrew (Toronto-St. Paul’s), Jessica Bell (University -Rosedale), Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) and Suze Morrison (Toronto Centre) will reintroduce their bill to ban residential evictions in Ontario until the pandemic is truly over.
In February 2021, Morrison held a press conference at Queen’s Park urging the Ford government to pass the NDP’s No COVID Evictions Act. The Ford Conservatives failed to pass the bill, which was sent back to first reading when the legislature was dissolved last winter.
“This legislation, which Doug Ford could and should have passed well over a year ago, is to protect people and reduce the spread of COVID-19 by blocking the issuing and enforcement of eviction orders until the Chief Medical Officer of Health makes a written declaration that the COVID-19 pandemic is over,” Morrison said.
“The pandemic hasn’t ended, and for many Ontarians, life is only becoming less affordable,” Andrew said. “Many Ontarians have lost income during the pandemic, through no fault of their own. People should not be forced to find shelter, apartment hunt, or crash at a friend’s while the virus continues to spread.”
The NDP previously highlighted the flaws in the Ford government’s temporary ban on the enforcement of evictions issued last January. The ban, which Ford later lifted, unfairly gave greater discretion to the Landlord and Tenant Board to expedite evictions.
“Tens of thousands of people have had their lives turned upside down due to eviction,” said Bell. "By forcing people to look for a new home or risk homelessness, Doug Ford has needlessly contributed to the unsafe spread of COVID-19."
Kernaghan said he continues to hear from families who are struggling to make rent and put food on the table. “The cost of everything is skyrocketing, and many Ontarians continue to deal with the impacts of lost wages and jobs due to COVID-19. Nobody should be forced out of their home just as they’re starting to get back on their feet.
"Ontarians deserve a government that cared about regular people enough to ban pandemic evictions from the get-go, not a government that fails to prioritize them or keep them safe.”