Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Logement&nbsp ;: demonstration in Montreal against bill 31

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The demonstrators, among other things, demanded resignation from the Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau.

  • Philippe Robitaille-Grou (View profile)Philippe Robitaille-Grou

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Discontent with Bill 31 was felt on Saturday in the streets of the La Petite-Patrie district in Montreal. A few hundred demonstrators united their voices to denounce this text led by the Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau.

One of the main reasons for this anger: the measures provided for in this bill, which would put an end to lease assignments, at least in their current form. This practice is seen by many tenants as their main tool for limiting rent increases.

The rally, which began around 11:30 a.m., was organized by the Regroupement of housing committees and tenant associations of Quebec (RCLALQ).

Tenants in Quebec are suffocating. And then we really asked that there be a government and a Minister of Housing who respond to the growing distress of tenant households, said Cédric Dussault, spokesperson for the Regroupement.

We end up with exactly the opposite, a bill that takes away rights from tenants, he added. So I think it’s something that has crystallized the dissatisfaction, anger and indignation of the tenant population in Quebec around the housing situation.

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The homelessness rate has increased and the government is doing nothing, lamented another demonstrator speaking to Radio-Canada.

The RCLALQ is calling in particular for the resignation of Minister Duranceau, whom it described as incompetent in a press release published on Saturday.

Sweaters sold to demonstrators parodied the minister by comparing her to Marie-Antoinette.

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Sweaters sold to demonstrators caricatured Minister Duranceau by comparing her to Marie-Antoinette.

Among the protesters' demands:

Bill 31 was tabled last June by France-Élaine Duranceau, who then said she wanted to plug “the loopholes” in the residential rental market, the rules having not been reviewed for more than thirty of years.

Currently under study in the National Assembly, the text provides in particular that the landlord who is informed of the tenant's intention to transfer the lease may refuse to consent for a reason other than a serious reason. , in which case the lease is terminated on the transfer date indicated in the notice sent by the tenant.

In a message sent to Radio-Canada on Saturday , the Minister's Office indicates that the objective of the bill is to restore the balance between tenants and owners.

The Cabinet emphasizes that measures are also planned for the protection of tenants. In the event of eviction, for example, the burden of proof would rest on the owner rather than the tenant.

Articles also aim to impose punitive damages on landlords who fail to fulfill clause G of the lease on the previous rent.

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France-Élaine Duranceau highlighted the measures of the draft law intended to better protect tenants. (File photo)

The RCLALQ, however, criticizes Minister Duranceau for once again missing an opportunity to better defend tenants on Tuesday by refusing to expand the law adopted in 2016, nicknamed the Françoise David law, which protects seniors from evictions.

According to the minister, her bill already protects people of all ages from evictions.

The RCLALQ took the opportunity to denounce the recent statements of many politicians who linked the housing crisis to immigration.

Blaming asylum seekers for a housing crisis that has been taking root throughout Quebec for several years is more than dishonest and irresponsible: it's pathetic . All the data shows that the shortage is even more [serious] and that rents are soaring even more quickly in regions which receive very little immigration, said spokesperson Cédric Dussault in a press release.

Blaming immigration is not only dishonest, it also distracts from the real cause of this crisis, the rampant commodification of facilitated housing by governments, he added.

According to a rental market report released this week by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the province-wide rental vacancy rate increased from 1.7 per cent in 2022 to 1.3% in 2023, its lowest level in 20 years. The construction of rental housing saw a decline of 13% in 2022 and 28% in 2023.

With information from #x27;Alexis Gacon andby Gabrielle Proulx

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