Federal government To Introduce a ‘renters’ bill of rights’ in upcoming budget

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday night that his government will introduce new measures including Rental Bill of Rights

WNews 4 Min Read
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday night that his government will introduce new measures to support rentals
  • Proposed Measures includes rent being reported to Credit bureaus & bill of Rights
  • Opposition parties criticize Liberal announcement

Ottawa, Ontario (WNEWS) — As part of the upcoming budget, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday night that his government will introduce new measures, including a new “bill of rights,” that he says will help protect tenants as part of an effort to make the rental market more secure.

As Prime Minister Trudeau pointed out, the new measures are specifically targeted at younger generations, who are renting out a greater amount of space than their parents before them.

“It’s about changing the rules of the game in a way that meets young people where they are,” he said on Wednesday.

A “renters’ bill of rights” will be developed by Ottawa in consultation with provinces and territories that would establish a national standard lease agreement and impose a requirement that landlords disclose the historical pricing history of an apartment so that tenants can negotiate a more reasonable rent.

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The new measures will also include a $15-million fund for provincial legal aid organizations that help tenants fight against “renovictions” and landlord abuse.

Moreover, Liberals are proposing to change federal rules so that making rental payments on time will count towards a person’s credit score; something Trudeau told reporters was meant to help renters who are planning to buy a house in the future.

“If you look at someone who pays a $2,000 [per month] mortgage, they’re getting recognition and credit for that from their bank as part of their credit score,” the prime minister said.

“But if you’re paying $2,000 a month, on rent, you get no kudos.”

As a rule of thumb, the government doesn’t talk about what is included in an annual budget until it is introduced in the House of Commons. However, the announcement was made weeks in advance of the Liberals’ next budget, which is scheduled to be released on April 16th.

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Before revealing the planned rental measures on Wednesday, Trudeau took a moment to plug the April 16 fiscal plan, saying that the budget will be about “fairness.”

“For Canada to succeed, we need everyone to succeed,” he said.

Trudeau was joined for his announcement by Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, who hinted that there could be more announcements ahead of the budget day.

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“Over the coming days and in the April budget, we are going to launch a no-holds-barred plan to wrestle down the cost of owning and renting a home,” she said.

As part of the announcements that were made on Wednesday, the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation released a report that stated that the housing starts in several major Canadian cities increased last year as a result of a surge in new apartment construction.

But the report also cautions that demand continues to outweigh supply.

Opposition parties criticize Liberal announcement

 Conservative housing critic, Scott Aitchison said Wednesday’s announcement was Liberal posturing that won’t get results.

“Today’s photo op is just another set of meaningless measures that won’t result in building the homes Canadians need,” he said in a statement.

NDP housing critic Jenny Kwan criticized the announcement for not going far enough.

“The Liberals are so out of touch with what Canadian renters are experiencing that they keep offering half-measures instead of a real action,” Kwan said in a statement.

The NDP is calling on the government to invest more in affordable housing while temporarily preventing for-profit firms from buying designated affordable housing spaces.

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