Doug Ford says a residential eviction ban is in the works for Ontario
Amid a major announcement about new, stricter COVID-19 restrictions being introduced to help stop the spread of the virus, Premier Doug Ford revealed that the province is finally looking into doing what tenants and advocates have been demanding for months: placing a temporary moratorium on residential evictions.
Ford introduced a number of new rules during the Queen's Park press briefing Tuesday, and he only touched on the subject of evictions for a brief moment.
"We're also suspending the enforcement of residential evictions so people can stay home safely," he said, without providing any details on how or when this would come into effect.
Evictions are still happening until the court orders otherwise.@fordnation hasnt called off the courts yet so an eviction ban is not yet in place.— Sam Hersh (@SamHersh01) January 12, 2021
Ford, other govt officials need to call it off immediately or hundreds more could go homeless. https://t.co/9l5xFEGA3l
Following the press conference, the province released a detailed news release outlining all of the new restrictions, and it indicates that the government will provide more information about the eviction moratium in next few days.
"The government knows that in order to keep Ontarians safe, it is important that they are not forced to leave their homes during the new state of emergency," reads the release. "Ontario is exploring all options available to put a temporary residential evictions moratorium in place, and will have more to say in the coming days."
The announcement comes after months of organizing and protesting from tenants and tenant advocates who believe no one should be evicted from their home during a global pandemic, and that landlords should be providing rent relief and forgiveness to residents who've lost employment and income as a result of COVID-19.
Activists have repeatedly called on the city and Mayor John Tory to issue the ban, but he has repeatedly stated that it is not within his power to do so and has instead called on the province to introduce the moratorium.
Following today's announcement, the mayor expressed his support for an eviction halt in a statement.
My statement on the province's State of Emergency declaration and additional public health measures. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/IlV9CyPC2b— John Tory (@JohnTory) January 12, 2021
"I will also expect the Government of Ontario to solidify its commitment to halt residential evictions, as it has the power to do," said Tory, "as people should not be put out of their housing during a health emergency."
The Ontario government initially issued a residential eviction ban back in March during the first state of emergency, though that moratorum expired at the end of the summer — leading to what many have called an unprecedented, inhumane eviction "blitz" at the Landlord Tenant Board.
Health experts have also repeatedly said that an eviction ban, as well as paid sick leave, which the province has not yet introduced, are both needed to help people stay home, stay safe and effectively slow the spread of the virus.
Join the conversation Load comments