St. Catharines MPP Slams Ontario’s Ford Government for Siding with Landlords who throw Tenants Out on the Street

MPP Jennie Stevens says Doug Ford must put a stop to the renovictions crisis now hitting Niagara

A News Release from the Constituency Office of St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

Posted February 25th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

St. Catharines NDP MPP Jennie Stevens

QUEEN’S PARK – NDP NPP Jennie Stevens (St. Catharines) has demanded the Ford government put a stop to ‘renovictions’ and intimidation tactics by developers in this province, that’s leaving vulnerable people without a home and nowhere to go.

Stevens said that the scourge of renovictions, where long-time tenants are forced out by landlords using the excuse of renovations who then jack up rents, is now spreading to every corner of Ontario including St. Catharines in the Niagara region.

“This government has scrapped rent control on new units. They have sat by and allowed rents to skyrocket, and they have created an environment that encourages landlords to pursue aggressive and illegal renovictions,” said Stevens on Thursday during Question Period at the legislature.

Stevens highlighted the shocking case of 76-year-old cancer patient Kenneth Gogo, from St. Catharines, who is facing eviction after living in his apartment building for over 20 years.

“Premier, why does this government think creating anxiety and doing nothing to protect vulnerable seniors like Kenneth from losing their homes to renovictions is okay?,” asked Stevens.

(A Brief Insert Note from Niagara At Large– The renoviction push against Kenneth Gogo  has, just days ago, screeched to a stop, but only after he accompanied MPP Jennie Stevens to Queen’s Park where she confronted the Ford government face-to-face about his plight. Is this what you have to do – shame this government directly – to get some justice for a person? How many more cases like Mr. Gogo’s are there out there?)

Gogo will not be able to afford another 500-square-foot bachelor apartment in his current building, since new listings are double the price he is paying now.

“What are you going to do to help people like Kenneth and the people all across this province who are suffering from illegal renovictions and scare tactics?”

Mr. Gogo is one of the last tenants in his building, after the developer spent the last two years intimidating and evicting families to make way for those about to afford twice the rent. He currently pays $720 per month for his bachelor apartment, yet if he is forced out he will face paying double that just to rent a similar unit.

A Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper –

One of the signs a protester displayed at a rally of citizens, outside Doug Ford’s Etokicoke business, Deco Labels & Tags, in 2018.

The heartlessness of Ontario Doug Ford and the gutless wonders serving in his cabinet and Conservative caucus is beyond anything we have experience at the provincial level in Ontario for at least the past 60 years.

 And that includes the Tory government of Ford’s slash and burn friend and mentor from the late 1990s and early 2000s, then Conservative premier Mike Harris.

With the Ford government, its oft-used slogan “open for business” is code for cut and gut rules and regulations, and let the worst members of Ontario’s business community unfetter their greed and do whatever they want to our environment, and to our communities and the people who live in them.

What we should be asking is this.  When are the decent businesses out there – the ones that still have some respect for the environment, for people and for the common good, going to speak out?

Or are they going to let the worst ones among them stain the reputation of this province’s entire business community.

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“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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