Rally for tenants rights against bill 184 in Toronto

On Monday, July 6, 2020 members of Socialist Action joined hundreds of other activists calling for the defeat of bill 184 which unfairly provides space for landlords to evict tenants who cannot afford to pay rent due to the COVID pandemic. The rally marched to Toronto Mayor John Torys home.

Report by Rob McBean:

Mondays’ hot and muggy weather was just perfect for turning up the heat in the class struggle. Ontario’s ultra-reactionary conservative government has decided that now is the time to cash in on the popularity they were able to squeeze out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are trading the goodwill that the people of Ontario gave them for their perceived competent handling of COVID to get a nasty eviction bill passed. Bill 184 will make informal repayment agreements between landlords and tenants into legally enforceable contracts.
This means that landlords can corner tenants one on one anytime and anywhere they want and bully them into signing predatory repayment agreements. Tenants may not even understand what they are signing when the landlord tricks them into putting their signature on the line.
When the tenants break these agreements because they either didn’t know what they were signing, or they were bullied into impossible terms, that won’t matter. The contract will be viewed as valid and enforceable, and the landlord can get a speedy eviction without having to go through a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
This bill makes it harder for tenants to defend themselves at hearings. Before March 17 2020, if a landlord was trying to evict a tenant for non-payment, the tenant could bring up chronic maintenance issues as a defence. Now, for tenants to bring up issues like cockroaches, bedbugs, bad plumbing or no security in the building as a defence, they would have to provide written notice well in advance of the hearing.
Thug Ford wants to usher in mass evictions to punish anyone who participated in a COVID-19 rent strike, or thought that maybe they could keep some of their rent due to COVID unemployment. The conservatives want to keep workers terrorized and on the verge of homelessness.
But Thug Ford can’t just get away with hurting Ontario workers any way he wants without opposition. Parkdale Organize, along with allies in ACORN, Socialist Action, labour unions, and other class-conscious fighters have stepped up to oppose this mass eviction bill.
200 militant, organized, workers and allies took to the streets to march from the Ontario legislature to the front door of conservative Toronto mayor John Tory’s luxury condo building.
Speakers educated the protesters and passerby about the predatory nature of the mass-eviction bill and of the correct tactic to defeat it. Mass community organizing and solidarity of neighbors against any eviction attempts by property owners and their agents.
The enemy class was educated as well. The property owners were reminded that, yes, we do know where they live. The traitors amongst lawyers and paralegals who can’t wait to represent landlords during evictions in return for measly little paycheques were reminded that we know who they are too, and where they carry on business.