Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Tenant defense organizations speak out ;proclaim the resignation of Minister Duranceau

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Minister France-Élaine Duranceau

  • Jonathan Lavoie (View profile)Jonathan Lavoie

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Denouncing a “blatant bias » of the Quebec government towards real estate owners, several tenant defense organizations unite their voices and demand the resignation of the Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau.

The Regroupement of housing committees and tenant associations of Quebec (RCLALQ) believes that Bill 31, which aims to modify certain legislative provisions relating to housing, and which could be adopted as early as next week, will only get worse the situation as Quebec is plunged into a housing crisis.

For all of her work, we are calling for the resignation or dismissal of the Minister of Housing, says the spokesperson for the Regroupement, Cédric Dussault. According to him, the appointment of France-Élaine Duranceau has always been problematic. This is a person who is a real estate broker, a person also who has close ties with big players in real estate, he relates, on the minister who is carrying this bill which should, in particular, limit access to the assignment of lease.

We are going to take away tenants' rights, which will greatly worsen the situation.

A quote from Cédric Dussault

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The Regroupement of housing committees and tenant associations of Quebec has listed 3,531 cases of eviction in Quebec in 2023. Cédric Dussault is the spokesperson for the group.

Jointly with the Housing Animation and Information Office, the Citizens' Committee of the Saint-Sauveur district, the Housing Assistance Committee of Quebec West and the Ruche Vanier, the RCLALQ maintains that it is necessary to establish a register of rents.

The rent control mechanisms we have in Quebec absolutely do not work, especially when there is a change of tenant. There is almost a total absence of control, denounces Cédric Dussault. He suggests that when signing the lease for a new apartment, 80% of tenants do not know the amount paid by previous tenants.

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Tenant advocacy organizations are also calling for a cap on annual increases while the average rent in Quebec increased by 7.7% year-on-year in 2022, according to the latest data published in January by the Canadian Mortgage Corporation and housing (CMHC).

Cédric Dussault deplores that rents were more affordable in Quebec than elsewhere in the country not so long ago, which is less and less true .

We are catching up with the worst places in Canada and the worst places in Canada, it is in the worst places in the world in terms of affordability.

A quote from Cédric Dussault

The coordinator of the Housing Animation and Information Office (BAIL), believes that the limitation of BAIL transfers constitutes the biggest setback of Bill 31. This x27;was one of the last ramparts of rent control that the tenants had and now it has just been taken away from the tenants, at the request of the owners. That for us is perfectly odious.

Nicole Dionne also criticizes the Legault government for having turned a deaf ear to all the demands of tenant defense organizations, including better protection for seniors.

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Nicole Dionne, coordinator at the Housing Animation and Information Office (BAIL). (File photo)

Currently, a person over the age of 70 who has lived in the same place for ten years or more cannot be subject to a housing repossession, regardless of the reason. The BAIL wanted to extend this protection to people aged 65 and over who have resided in the same place for five years. Madame Duranceau completely evacuated this protection and it is protection which would not have cost the government a penny, argues Nicole Dionne.

At the end of the council of ministers, France-Elaine Duranceau contented herself with this response: My role is to make all the good sides of this bill known and I I'm going to work on that in the coming weeks.

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