May 23, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Performance | “It is time to consider housing as a fundamental right”

Performance |  "It is time to consider housing as a fundamental right"

(Montreal) In the midst of the housing crisis, the Quebec government must establish rent control, an important tool that guarantees housing for all, once again demanding a few hundred people gathered in downtown Montreal.

Felix Deszardins
The Canadian Press

Organized by the Regiment des Committees Logment at Associations de Tenants du Quebec (RCLALQ), the demonstration took place across Sherbrook Street to the Prime Minister Legalt’s office in Montreal.

“It is time to stop being considered a housing commodity, it is time to consider housing as a fundamental right,” RCLLQ spokesman Maxim Roy-Allard chanted in front of a crowd.

Politicians also attended the demonstration to show their support for the right to housing.

« [Le gouvernement] Particularly passive, it sticks to simple solutions, ”said Andres Fontesilla, a spokeswoman for Quebec Solidarity in housing and residence. “He would not dare to address the root issues, for example with a temporary ban on the rental register and evictions.”

According to several people gathered on Saturday, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on existing housing shortages.

“The pandemic has really created a real estate mania, which has pushed up building prices, which in turn has pushed up rental prices,” Mr. Roy-Allard explained in an interview.

According to Alexander Bouleris, a member of the New Democratic Party, the issue of “reconstruction” should also be a priority for the Legal government.

“We see a lot of people losing their homes for disguised evictions,” Bouleris said before the convoy left. It is my opinion that the Quebec government has a lot of work to do on this. ”

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The walk lasted for an hour with several working committees representing various neighborhoods and boroughs in Montreal.

“It is common for evictees to evict all tenants from their homes,” said Steve Byrd of the Verdun Citizens Action Committee. It is clear how the law does not protect tenants and harming people. ”

In May, Housing Minister Andre LaForest confirmed in a parliamentary committee that “we are not in a state of housing crisis,” which was later qualified by Franకోois Legalt.

“They don’t even want to admit that there is a housing crisis,” Byrd said. They made it very clear that they were not much interested. ”

The victim of a “reconstruction” who had spent nine months in the Villere district, Margaret – unwilling to share her last name – could not believe how little help she had taken against her landlord.

After trying to evict his tenant illegally, he says his house is “uninhabited” and is rebuilding there to persuade her to move out, which has a huge impact on his physical and mental health. She has appeared before the Administrative Housing Tribunal three times since hearing her case, a particularly tough process.

“It affected me a lot,” she says. I haven’t slept in months. I had to give up because he could not live with my pet in such conditions. ”

In addition to asking the government to create a temporary ban on rent registers and layoffs, the RCLALQ spokesperson proposed setting maximum rates of rent increase based on the Ontario model. Employers who want to exceed this limit must apply to the court to justify the increase.

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“Right now, this burden has been reversed,” Roy-Allard explained. If tenants do not dispute this increase, there will be no control. Tenants are afraid to protest because they are afraid of retaliation and do not know their rights. ”

The demonstration took place peacefully and in collaboration with the Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal. It ended at 3 p.m.