People want Ontario to reinstate the residential eviction ban
Toronto and Peel have been in full lockdown 2.0 for more than a week now, and residents are wondering why, if so many are out of work once more, a ban on residential evictions hasn't been reinstated.
The power lies in the jurisdiction of the province, which moved to place a moratorium on such evictions during the first major pandemic lockdown back in March, but it expired in July after the state of emergency in Ontario was lifted and jurisdictions reopened to a level that felt almost normal.
Advocacy groups protested to have the ban extended as many residents remained in financially precarious waters thanks to the health crisis, and the introduction of Bill 184 later in the summer made it easier for landlords to boot tenants from their property.
Adjudicators are repeatedly referring to these hearing as an "eviction blitz" and "express eviction hearings". There are adjudicators that are presiding over hearings in which the law firm the adjudicator currently works for is representing the landlord.— Keep Your Rent Toronto (@KeepYourRent) December 2, 2020
But instead of getting any further protections, a slew of renters are now facing the prospect of being forcibly removed from their homes, even with many regions of the province in some form of severe lockdown and the winter now upon us.
The eviction blitz currently taking place in Toronto is being deemed a crisis and a bloodbath as the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) processes countless backlogged eviction hearings — and thanks to the new bill, landlords can now apply for an eviction order without a hearing in some cases.
Given the situation, calls for residential evictions to be halted have been revived, with Toronto Centre NDP MPP Suze Morrison among those rallying for the cause.
Morrison recently tabled a motion to re-implement a prohibition on residential evictions, and has been calling for all Ontarians to contact Premier Doug Ford's office to urge him to take action.
"Why is the premier fast-tracking thousands of evictions in the middle of a pandemic?" Morrison asked Ford directly at the House this week, noting that the province's attempt to work through the LTB's massive backlog, which was caused in part due to some internal issues and a shortage of adjudicators, may be a factor.
🏡We need a COVID eviction ban NOW.🏡— Suze Morrison (@SuzeMorrison) December 2, 2020
I have tabled a motion to bring back an eviction moratorium until we are in a post-pandemic recovery period.
Join me in calling on Doug Ford & PC MPPs to vote in support of this motion! Call and email today! #noCOVIDevictions #onpoli pic.twitter.com/0cXzOEBS04
Toronto Mayor John Tory has stated publicly that he too is all for a return of the ban, and has formally requested that the province bring it back.
"The City has been clear that the residential eviction ban in place earlier this year should continue, and we repeat that request to the provincial government again today," he said in one of his daily press briefings last week.
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