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Quebec law protecting seniors from eviction may soon be extended: QS

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The Legault government is looking to table Quebec Solidaire's (QS) Bill 198, which expands the scope of the Françoise David law to better protect seniors from eviction, in the near future.

QS parliamentary leader Alexandre Leduc made the announcement on Friday. In an interview with The Canadian Press, he welcomed the outcome, which comes after months of pressure.

"It's good news," he said. "In the current context of evictions and renovictions, it's not too much to ask."

 The law commonly, known as "Françoise David's law" after the former QS leader, passed in 2016. It stipulates that a senior over 70 with a very low income who has lived in his or her home for more than 10 years cannot be evicted.

Last year, however, QS MNA Christine Labrie said more needed to be done to protect a greater number of senior tenants "from the savage evictions that are multiplying."

She introduced Bill 198, "An Act to amend the Civil Code in order to ensure greater protection for senior tenants against repossession or eviction."

 The aim was to broaden the criteria to include people 65 and over who have been living in their home for at least five years.

More recently, QS also tried to get the government to budge on housing legislation Bill 31 by introducing several amendments aimed at extending protections for seniors.

Housing Minister France-Élaine Duranceau rejected the proposed amendments, saying her Bill 31 already contained several measures to protect people from eviction, regardless of age.

According to Leduc, the government is about to change its tune: in a planning document sent to QS, it indicated that it intends to call Bill 198 as early as next week.

"Is it the recent polls? (...) Is it the housing crisis that is not about to be resolved (...) that is pushing them to evaluate other options?" said Leduc.

He added that, in his opinion, the minister might want to change "the public image she has built up in recent months."

It is exceedingly rare for the government to call an opposition bill. The QS house leader believes Bill 198 can be passed quickly.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 22, 2024. Top Stories

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