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Legault refuses to commit to an expansion of the Françoise David law

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Quebec Prime Minister François Legault responds to the opposition during question period on Wednesday in the National Assembly.

Thomas Laberge – The Canadian Press and The Canadian Press in Quebec

March 27, 2024

  • Quebec

Prime Minister François Legault refuses to commit to working with Québec solidaire (QS) to pass his Bill 198 which would expand the scope of the Françoise David law in order to better protect seniors from evictions .

“Is the Prime Minister open to discussing with other parties to better protect senior tenants ?,” said the parliamentary leader of QS, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, during the question period at the National Assembly, Wednesday.

However, François Legault avoided answering, preferring to deflect the question to criticize QS.

“The real housing problem is that there is a lack of housing compared to the high demand, among other things because of temporary immigrants who have increased by more than 230,000 over the past two years. QS refuses to see this problem and still thinks that it is by putting more constraints on owners that we will solve the problem. We do not agree with this approach,” said the Prime Minister.

The CAQ government nevertheless agreed to call the QS bill.

The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to praise his government's record in terms of policies for seniors. He recalled that Bill 31 on housing, adopted in February, reversed the burden of proof during evictions to put responsibility on the shoulders of owners.

“The older you are, the more at risk”

Wednesday morning, former solidarity MP Françoise David – who passed a law to protect senior tenants in 2016 – published a letter in La Presse to ask the government to quickly adopt the solidarity legislative piece, while “Quebec is going through the worst housing crisis in the last 40 years.”

“We are now asking the government and the opposition parties to rediscover the transpartisan spirit of 2016 and to work together towards the rapid and unanimous adoption of a law further protecting senior tenants in eviction”, we can read in the missive.

The letter is signed by two former PQ ministers, Louise Harel and Marie Malavoy, as well as former Liberal MP Christiane Pelchat.

To (re)read

  • Françoise David “angry” with Minister Duranceau
  • Québec solidaire calls for measures to help senior tenants

Little Appetite by Simon Jolin-Barrette

On Tuesday, the leader of the government, Simon Jolin-Barrette, also did not show much appetite for the solidarity bill to be adopted, even if he accepted that it would be called.

He indicated that the debate on the protection of elderly tenants had already been made within the framework of Bill 31 on housing and that the government's position had not changed.

During the study of Bill 31, QS and the Parti Québécois (PQ) tabled amendments to improve the Françoise David law. The Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, refused them, arguing that her bill already contained several measures to protect people from evictions, regardless of their age.

Gag and negotiations

We learned on Tuesday that the call for the solidarity bill had been the subject of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Simon Jolin-Barrette and the parliamentary leader of QS, Alexandre Leduc.

QS committed to speeding up the adoption by gag order of Bill 15 on the health system and in exchange, the government was going to call Bill 198, explained Mr. Leduc .

The solidarity leader also affirmed that he hoped to convince his CAQ opponents to adopt his bill. The Liberals and the PQ have already spoken out in favor.

The Françoise David law stipulates that a senior over 70 with a very low income who has lived in their home for more than 10 years cannot be evicted. The objective of the new solidarity bill is to broaden the criteria to include in particular people aged 65 and over who have lived in their home for at least five years.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116