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Group protests outside Ford's home over protection for renters

Last Updated Sep 15, 2020 at 8:43 am EDT

A small group of protesters gathered outside the home of Premier Doug Ford on Tuesday morning, demanding increased protection for renters.

The group, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), stood outside his driveway holding signs.

They are concerned that the premier’s promise to freeze rent in 2021 could lead to more evictions, unless it includes vacancy control.

They’re also asking for a cap on rents at zero per cent for all tenants.

The group said they are at Ford’s home because he has only listened to landlords and denied them access to making important decisions.

“Doug Ford’s rent freeze will be nothing but lies unless he freezes AGI’s and stops landlords from increasing the rent on vacant units. We’re at his home because he’s denied us access to politicians making important decisions, and only listening to landlords — enough is enough,” ACORN president Marva Burnett said in a release.

Last month, the Ford government said it will introduce legislation to freeze rent increases for rent-controlled units in 2021.

In a statement, the premier’s office said its government has “promised legislation this fall that will support renters in Ontario during this extremely difficult time.”

“Despite our commitment to engage tenant and landlord groups to ensure the proposed legislation is fair and balanced, these [protesters] have decided to take the unfortunate step of gathering at the premier’s personal residence. While the Premier respects people’s right to protest, neither his family nor the families of his neighbours deserve this treatment.”

The province has been criticized for its handling of evictions, especially as tenants struggle to get by during the COVID-19 pandemic. After deciding to ban residential evictions earlier this month, government officials gave the Landlord and Tenant Board the green light to go ahead with evictions.