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Archive for July 12th, 2020

By Sam Tekerai, Guest contributor

During the current health crisis of COVID-19, the Ontario Government suspended tenant eviction notices that had already been filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Although that action was commendable, the government was already in the process of amending the existing Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act, via its Bill 184 that was tabled prior to COVID-19.  Although Bill 184 legislation has so many facets to amend the existing 2006 Act, greater focus should be on needed changes to the ‘existing mechanisms of evictions’.

Bill 184, titled “Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community” was tabled by the Ontario Government prior to the advent of COVID-19. It has now passed its second reading in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and is working its way through the process to become an ‘Act’. Once it is passed it will implement varies amendments to the existing “2006 Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act”, which came into effect on January 31, 2007.  That Act sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants who rent residential properties. One is left to wonder if this nicely titled legislation “Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community” could be a smokescreen for the real intent of Bill 184. These questions need to be addressed: Is the real intent to make it easier for the landlords to evict tenants, particularly those who are financially vulnerable going through economic hardship? Have these tenants reached some sort of agreement with the landlord to pay their ‘debt’ during the COVID-19 crisis?

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