Doug Ford says that Ontario tenants don’t have to pay rent if they can’t afford to
In a press conference on Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford addressed concerns thousands of Ontario residents share regarding rent. In a time when one million Canadians have applied for EI in the past week, it is no surprise that affording rent is a difficulty.
Premier Doug Ford worked on both sides of the issue. He urged residents that have jobs to still pay rent come April 1st. In the press conference, Ford said “I heard there was a petition going around [saying] ‘Just don’t pay rent.’ That’s wrong. That’s hurting people across the board. We’re standing up for the tenants here so please don’t take advantage of it.”
The “please don’t take advantage of it” should be the one that sticks with residents who can afford rent during the COVID-19 crisis. After all, people who are jobless could be choosing between groceries and rent at this point.
From there, however, Premier Doug Ford added: “And if you can’t pay rent, and you’re just in absolutely crisis, then you don’t have to pay rent.”
#NEW: Premier @fordnation says “if you are in crisis and absolutely can’t pay rent, you don’t have to pay rent”. Ford did not commit to freezing rent or providing direct $$ supports for tenants #COVID19
— Travis Dhanraj (@Travisdhanraj) March 26, 2020
This obviously leads to questions about whether rent will be deferred or if landlords will be giving up this cash altogether. Regardless, it will definitely send a wave of relief to tenants who are struggling to make ends meet before rent is due.