31 Seniors Hit with 31% Rent Hike

QUEEN’S PARK – On Thursday, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals and the Conservatives refused to support an NDP bill that would protect renters from unfair, unreasonable rent hikes. Now, 31 seniors in Sault Ste. Marie are appealing to Wynne to change her mind and pass the bill immediately, as they’re facing a 31 per cent rent increase.

“We are all senior citizens living on a fixed income and are faced with the problem of where the funds will be coming from to pay this substantial rent increase,” wrote senior Clarence Bax in a letter sent to Wynne, and signed by dozens of his neighbours. The letter pleads with Wynne to pass the NDP’s rent control bill, and extend protection to all renters.

“By refusing to support this bill, Premier Wynne is putting partisan, political games ahead of the well-being of 31 seniors in Sault Ste. Marie, along with renters all over the province,” said MPP Peter Tabuns. “I don’t think she understands how urgent the situation is for renters facing increases that could drive them from their homes.”

Tabuns’ Bill 106, the Rent Protection for All Tenants Act, would provide rent-hike protection for all renters by immediately closing a loophole that allows landlords in buildings built later than 1991 to hike rents as much as they want. The private member’s bill, tabled in mid-March, could be passed by unanimous consent in the legislature immediately if Wynne, her Liberals and the Conservatives wanted to ban unfair rent hikes.

“We are asking you to support Mr. Tabuns’ Bill 106 which would eliminate the dramatic rent increase we and 150,000 Ontarians are facing,” wrote Mr. Bax in closing his letter to Wynne.

“I want Wynne to hear what Mr. and Mrs. Bax and their neighbours are facing,” said Tabuns. “The cost of housing — and certainly these unreasonable increases — are pushing people to their breaking points. It’s time for the Wynne government to stop dragging their feet, and stop ignoring what everyday families are dealing with.”