Laura Mae Lindo MPP, Kitchener Centre

Government of Ontario

Ford’s refusal to ban evictions is putting lives at risk in Waterloo Region

Published on January 5, 2021

KITCHENER – NDP MPP Laura Mae Lindo (Kitchener Centre) says the Ford government is putting local people at risk by refusing to ban residential evictions, that’s led to families in Waterloo Region being forced to leave their homes even during the holidays. 
Waterloo Region Community Legal Services has confirmed that almost 200 households faced eviction hearings in Waterloo Region between Nov. 24 and Dec. 18, and a lawyer for the organization has raised concerns that this could lead to more COVID-19 cases with evicted tenants left with no choice but to find shared accommodation or crowded shelters.
“The Ford government’s decision to allow tenants to be evicted when the crisis is getting worse by the day, when the region is locked down and COVID-19 cases are surging, is a not only disgraceful, it’s downright dangerous,” said Lindo.
“Tenants who are evicted have nowhere to go, and many are on the verge of becoming homeless. The government is forcing people – even in Waterloo Region which is under lockdown – to find shelter in a system that’s already overcrowded, to crash on couches or try to survive on the street in freezing temperatures. It’s putting people at risk of catching and spreading COVID-19, and could lead to even more cases in our community.”
In December, the Ontario legislature unanimously passed a motion put forward by Suze Morrison, NDP critic for Tenants Rights, to ban residential evictions until the pandemic is over. Despite that, Doug Ford shut down the Legislature early and has still refused to sign an emergency order that could protect these tenants and prevent the virus spreading.
Lindo says this is another reason why Doug Ford must recall the Legislature immediately to pass legislation that will reinstate the eviction ban that expired in August.
“Doug Ford is telling Ontarians to stay home, but at the same time he’s choosing to allow families to be thrown out of their homes through no fault of their own, and forcing them into crowded temporary accommodation where we know this virus can spread rapidly. He still refuses to listen to public health experts and housing advocates, and MPPs in the Legislature, who are saying loud and clear that this make the pandemic even worse.”
Lindo is hosting a virtual townhall, Housing For All: Rally for Change on January 21, to hear from local residents and community advocates about the stress of housing insecurity during the pandemic.