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Archive for September, 2008

By I. Aagaard, Guest Contributor

Okay, I don’t know about you but for me some issues are conspicuously absent in this election campaign. They are:

(a)  a total lack of vision regarding Canada and the kind of society we want and,
(b)  tenants and the right to affordable housing.

Regarding (a) . . . I only wish to encourage each and every one of you to give serious thought to what kind of society you want for yourself and your children/future generations in this country. Think beyond your own immediate wants and needs and look to what really matters to you.  For example, do you think a healthy, well-educated society matters to ensure we remain competitive globally and able to support the education and health care systems vital to our future?  Tempting as it is to focus on your own immediate needs, I encourage all of you to look beyond those and give thoughts to the kind of Canada you want for your children and grandchildren and, by extension, for yourself in old age. Think about the kind of health care services, pension income, and affordable senior housing or nursing home care you want to see available to all.

Regarding (b) . . . affordable housing for all, not just the relative few who can afford to buy/own property but more so for the many who are forced to rent a place to live, I ask you to consider if this should be viewed as a universal right or merely a right for those who can afford to own property.

In case you’re not aware of this – CANADA IS THE ONLY WESTERN NATION THAT DOES NOT HAVE A NATIONAL HOUSING POLICY targetting renters.  Tenants are left totally at the mercy of the capitalist market place.  Landlords will charge whatever the market will bear.  Only exception is (more…)

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In mid-July of this year the City Council voted to refer a motion (initiated by Ward 22 – St. Paul’s Michael Walker and seconded by Ward 11- South Weston’s Frances Nunziata) to Toronto’s Executive Council to request that the Provincial Government support a return to what they termed ‘real’ Rent Control and the end of Vacancy Decontrol in the province.

In and of itself, the Council motion was not very meaningful and does not seem to have been picked up by the media. It did certainly raised concerns though that are important to us as tenants.

So, what were the Councillors supporting and what impact would the (more…)

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Refer to this link for more information on Cockroach & Bed bug pestshttp://wp.me/Pia0J-Jc

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One article I came across when reading up on bed bugs for this blog emphasized that bed bugs don’t distinguish between people based on income or class.

What is a significant difference, however, between the experiences the rich and those of us of more modest means have with bed bug infestation is the kind of pest control we are able to afford.

The article underscored that effective bed bug eradication means going beyond the spraying of pesticides. It insisted that physical methods such as vacuuming and steam cleaning must also be used, because bed bugs can often smell/sense chemical sprays and instead of killing them pesticide treatment may simply disperse them further into your living space.

However, employing a pest control company that will provide the full, labour-intensive treatment, is expensive – above the means of many tenants and not the first choice of landlords looking to keep cut costs.

What to do?

Some thoughts – please let us know your own…

  • Ask questions – of the landlord, of the pest control company. Make your position clear. If possible, you want to avoid making the situation worse.
  • If you can only afford bare-bones pest control or that is all the landlord will pay for, can you take on the necessary vacuuming and steam-cleaning yourself?

Source article: Biting Back Against Unwanted Bed Bugs

NOTE – due to poor building repairs and maintenance beg bugs and roaches can easily find their way via the crevices and cracks in units of many buildings.

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https://eastyorktenantsgroup.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=249&action=edit

 

Many of us who live in larger buildings know how hard it can be to get a hold of the actual landlord. Often there are layers of property management staff between tenants and the owners of buildings.

With that in mind, I found this 1991 article that describes a rowdy protest at Queen’s Park against rent control by (gasp!) actual landlords joined by construction contractors interesting.

Note the inventive protest techniques – maybe we can learn from them (LOL).

Rent-control protest went over the top

Ottawa Citizen – November 22, 1991
by Jim Coyle

Toronto — Housing Minister Evelyn Gigantes has seldom sounded so eloquent, rarely seemed so reasonable, probably never made her case so well.

And she didn’t say a word.

She couldn’t. The band of slavering landlords, construction workers and contractors who showed up Thursday at Queen’s (more…)

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Refer to this link for more information on Cockroach & Bed bug pestshttp://wp.me/Pia0J-Jc 

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Bed bugs appear to be a growing problem in Toronto, and yes, in our beloved East York, too.

Toronto Public Health notes an increase in calls about bed bugs: 800 calls between January and May 2007 compared to 197 calls in 2005.

Pest control companies have also recorded an increase in the number of bed bug cases they encounter. Their anecdotal evidence seems to point to the bed bug problem only starting to impact Toronto in the late 1990s.

Bed bugs don’t ask whether their human prey are renters or owners, living in an apartment or house, but the infestations can be harder on tenants than on other residents.

The proximity of living spaces in an apartment building or shared house can make it more likely for bed bugs to spread from one unit to another. On top of this, renters may get little response from their landlord when they raise the issue of bedbugs and many just cannot afford to buy new clothing or furniture to replace ones infested with the bugs or to move to get away from bed bug infestations.

Witness the case of Megan, an East York tenant:

‘Megan Basten and her boyfriend had been scratching what they thought were mosquito bites for at least a week before they (more…)

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On the morning of July 20, 2008,  a massive explosion in the basement electrical room of 22-storey, 2 Secord Avenue and subsequent fire, forced the 900 residents of the apartment building from their homes.

Thick smoke traveled up from the basement, through the elevator shaft and ventilation system, blackening surfaces throughout the building with soot and forcing the immediate evacuation of the residents. Many left the building with only the clothing on their backs.

The 2 Secord tenants spent 40 days living in emergency accomodations: bunking either with family and friends or in hotel rooms provided by the (more…)

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