NDP’s Krmpotich fights for 31 local seniors hit with 31% rent hike


On Thursday, the Conservatives and Premier Wynne’s Liberals refused to support an NDP bill that would protect renters from unfair, unreasonable rent hikes. Now, 31 seniors in Sault Ste. Marie are appealing to Wynne to change her mind and pass the bill immediately, as they’re facing a 31 per cent rent increase.

“We are all senior citizens living on a fixed income and are faced with the problem of where the funds will be coming from to pay this substantial rent increase,” wrote one senior in a letter sent to Wynne, and signed by dozens of community members. The letter pleads with Wynne to pass the NDP’s rent control bill, and extend protection to all renters.

“By refusing to support this bill, the Conservatives and Premier Wynne are, once again, putting themselves and their partisan, political games ahead of the well-being of 31 seniors in Sault Ste. Marie,” said City Councilor Joe Krmpotich, NDP candidate in the upcoming byelection. “I don’t think they understand how urgent the situation is for these seniors facing increases that could drive them from their homes. We know they allow rent to go up by 30 per cent – perhaps the Liberals and Conservatives don’t know that paycheques and pensions in the Sault certainly haven’t been going up 30 per cent”

The NDP took the issue all the way to Queen’s Park’s question period on Monday, demanding action to help the Sault seniors.

Tabuns’ Bill 106, the Rent Protection for All Tenants Act, would provide rent-hike protection for all renters by immediately closing a loophole that allows landlords in buildings built later than 1991 to hike rents as much as they want. The private member’s bill, tabled in mid-March, could be passed by unanimous consent in the legislature immediately if the Conservatives and Wynne Liberals wanted to ban unfair rent hikes.

“We are asking you to support Mr. Tabuns’ Bill 106 which would eliminate the dramatic rent increase we and 150,000 Ontarians are facing,” wrote the seniors in closing their letter to Wynne.

“The Conservatives just sat on their hands and kept their mouths shut in the legislature when Sault seniors, and all renters, needed them to speak up and vote in favour of fairness for renters,” said Krmpotich. “By helping the Liberals to keep the law the way it is, the Conservatives are putting big development corporations ahead of families, young people and grandmas and grandpas that rent their home.