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Quebec moves forward with a three-year moratorium on evictions

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press Minister Duranceau's new law is a significant change of course for the government. During the study of “Bill 31” a few months ago, she was very unreceptive to the opposition’s proposals.

Thomas Laberge – The Canadian Press in Quebec

Published and updated June 6

  • Quebec

While the housing crisis continues, Quebec has just passed a bill that will impose a three-year moratorium on evictions and protect more seniors from this practice.

The new law from the Minister of Housing, France-Élaine Duranceau, improves protection against evictions for seniors who have lived in their home for at least 10 years. It increases the age of this protection from 70 years to 65 years and increases the income limit to be eligible by 25%.

During the study of the project of law, Québec solidaire (QS) and the Parti Québécois (PQ) tried to extend protection for seniors even further, but the minister refused, saying that a balance had to be maintained.

As the vacancy rate is currently very low, the new law will also prohibit evictions aimed at “subdividing the accommodation, substantially enlarging it or changing its use”.

The moratorium will end before three years if the vacancy rate of all urban centers in Quebec with a population of at least 10,000 inhabitants reaches 3% or more.

The bill was recently amended to allow the moratorium to be maintained in certain regions of Quebec, even if the overall vacancy rate reaches 3%. The three-year limit is maintained regardless.

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“I salute the minister’s collaboration”

Both of these elements of the legislative piece were long-standing demands of QS. Moreover, after the vote on Thursday, solidarity deputies Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Christine Labrie and Andrés Fontecilla crossed the Blue Room to shake the hands of Minister Duranceau and that of Prime Minister François Legault.

“I salute the collaboration of Minister Duranceau and I thank all parties for the rapid adoption. When we all work together, we can change things. It’s a great day for Quebec politics,” wrote the supportive parliamentary leader on X.

Although it voted in favour, the Liberal Party expressed reservations about the moratorium. “I fear that this moratorium for all will stagnate the real estate market, particularly the development of rental housing,” Liberal MP Linda Caron said Wednesday at the Salon bleu.

The PQ was also in favour of the bill, but MP Joël Arseneau did not fail to criticize the minister and QS a few weeks ago. “Let's face it, it's a public relations effort to rehabilitate Minister Duranceau's image – which is obviously tarnished – with the collaboration of Québec solidaire,” he said, just before the legislative document was tabled in May.

Change of direction

Minister Duranceau's new law is a significant change of course for the government. During the study of another bill on housing (numbered 31) a few months ago, she was very unreceptive to the opposition's proposals.

The minister had rejected the amendments of QS and the PQ aimed at protecting more seniors from evictions. At the time, the minister said that her bill already contained several measures to protect everyone, regardless of their age. France-Élaine Duranceau says she has “evolved” on the issue since then.

Recall that Bill 31 had provoked a lot of resistance, particularly because it restricted the use of lease assignment.

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