Horgan gaffe highlights desperate need for eviction ban in B.C., as Ontario reinstates restriction

***For Immediate Release***

April 08, 2021


Yesterday, Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario Government announced a reinstatement of a provincial-wide eviction ban amidst the third wave of COVID-19. Last week in B.C., in response to CHEK News’ Rob Shaw, Premier Horgan falsely claimed that his government was protecting renters through restrictions on evictions, and that those restrictions “remain in force”. In fact, the B.C. Government removed all restrictions on evictions on September 1st. As was the case in March 2020, the Ontario Government has once again moved quicker than B.C. to protect renters through a reinstatement of the eviction ban.

“Clearly the Premier has acknowledged that an eviction ban is desperately needed to protect the health and homes of renters during these difficult times,” said VTU organizer Mazdak Gharibnavaz. “If he’s confused about the state of his government’s eviction ban, perhaps he can be directed to the public letter we sent his office in June, stating that thousands of renters are calling on him to extend the restrictions. Or maybe he could review the public letter sent to his Minister of Health and the Provincial Health Officer in November, asking them to advocate for the reinstatement of the eviction ban.”

Studies in the U.S. show that states which lifted their eviction moratoriums early in the pandemic saw a 2.1x higher incidence rate and a 5.4x higher mortality rate after sixteen weeks. Evictions inherently prevent sheltering-in-place and increase the indoor contacts that people will have as they attempt to find new, often temporary shelter, or become homeless. Under both President Trump and President Biden, the U.S. eviction ban has remained in place and will continue until the end of June 2021.

“Through this gaffe, Premier Horgan has revealed just how unsafe his government has made the lives of renters over the last several months, even by his own standard,” Gharibnavaz continued. “If the B.C. Government continues to allow evictions to be carried out in the middle of a global pandemic, the Premier must be asked why he believes B.C. renters don’t deserve the same protections offered in other jurisdictions. Do B.C. renters’ lives matter less than other renters?”