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Quebec votes in favour of opposition bill to protect senior tenants from eviction

Francois Legault meets with seniors as his CAQ government changes tone and supports a Quebec Solidaire motion on the protection of senior tenants. (Francois Legault, X) Francois Legault meets with seniors as his CAQ government changes tone and supports a Quebec Solidaire motion on the protection of senior tenants. (Francois Legault, X)
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Quebec Housing Minister France-Élaine Duranceau -- like the vast majority of her CAQ colleagues -- has voted in favour of a motion by Quebec solidaire (QS) calling on the four political parties represented in the national assembly to work together to better protect vulnerable senior tenants from eviction.

Quebec solidaire MNA Christine Labrie's initiative follows her bill to extend the Françoise David Act to limit evictions of seniors from their homes.

"It gives me hope that we will work hand in hand to get my bill passed quickly. I very much look forward to working with Minister Duranceau and my colleague Andrés Fontecilla to better protect senior tenants from eviction," said Labrie after her motion was passed.

The 107 MNAs present in the Salon Bleu voted in favour of the motion.

Change of tone

Up until this week, there has been a change of tone on the part of the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) regarding the QS bill. Two weeks ago, although the government agreed to call the bill, it showed little enthusiasm for passing it.

On March 28, during the debate on the principle of the bill, Duranceau said that the first version of the Françoise David Act had negative effects while admitting that it was a "good measure."

According to her, landlords are reluctant to accept elderly tenants.

But on Tuesday, in a message on the social network X, Premier François Legault said he was open to looking at ways to "better protect seniors from the impact of the housing crisis."

On the same day, Duranceau said: "We have always said that we are open to discussion and reflection to ensure that we have the right public policy to help people."

The premier also indicated that the housing minister would be meeting Labrie in the next few days.

The Françoise David Act, which was passed in 2016, stipulates that a senior aged over 70 with a very low income who has lived in their home for more than 10 years cannot be evicted. The aim of the new QS Bill is to broaden the criteria to include people aged 65 and over who have been living in their dwelling for at least five years.

Text of the QS motion:

That the national assembly recognize that the housing crisis is affecting Quebec seniors in particular;

That it take note of the calls made by civil society to protect senior tenants from the impacts of the housing crisis;

That it ask all political parties represented in this House to commit to working together in good faith to improve the protection of vulnerable senior tenants against eviction.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 10, 2024.  

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