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Québec solidaire asks for more on housing

Photo: Olivier Zuida Le Devoir The new Québec solidaire bill would allow the Quebec Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights to put more pressure on the government, explains Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

Isabelle Porter in Quebec

Published at 0:00

  • Quebec

Galvanized by Bill 65 on evictions, Québec solidaire will table a new bill this week, which aims to enshrine the right to housing in the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The solidarity co-spokesperson, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, agrees: this would not change anything in the current situation of tenants. It’s more about “starting the debate.” “If we want, as a society, to strengthen ourselves to avoid systematically falling back into a housing crisis, we must affirm this value, […] write it down in black and white in what is our founding text,” he says.

Concretely, this would also allow the Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights of Quebec, the CDPDJ, to put more pressure on the government in the matter, explains the politician. People whose right to housing is violated could also file a complaint with the organization.

The CDPDJ has been calling for a government policy on housing for years, demanding that the solidarity camp shares.

Currently, the right to housing is indirectly protected by the Quebec charter. Its article 45 indicates that each person has the right, “for themselves and their family, to financial assistance measures and social measures, provided for by law, likely to ensure them a decent standard of living”. The Civil Code protects the right “to remain in the premises”, that is to say that any tenant “can only be evicted from the rented accommodation in the cases provided for by law”.

Why now ? MP Andrés Fontecilla, spokesperson for Québec solidaire on housing, retorts that the government “is making progress”. Evidence of this, he said, is Bill 65, which increases protection for senior tenants against evictions.

Since the Legault government’s U-turn, this is the second time that Québec solidaire has urged the Coalition avenir Québec to continue on this path. Last week, the party unsuccessfully urged Minister France-Élaine Duranceau to go even further with the legislation she proposed. The tabling of a bill on the right to housing will therefore constitute a second effort.

Reluctance at the Coalition avenir Québec

However, everything suggests that this effort will suffer the same fate as the first, since Premier François Legault has already refused to say that housing was a fundamental right during an exchange in the chamber with Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

“We have the right to know what the Prime Minister thinks on this issue, which is fundamental. According to the Prime Minister, in Quebec, is housing a right, yes or no? ?” the Gouin MP had said at the beginning of May.

Mr. Legault responded that access to housing was “essential”, but without going any further. “Whether we do it or not, how can we build housing so quickly […] with 560,000 temporary immigrants ?” he said.

As for Bill 65 on evictions and seniors, it has not yet been officially adopted. However, all previous steps have been completed. Therefore, unless the Legault government no longer wishes to see it become law, it should receive the sanction of the National Assembly before the end of the parliamentary session, scheduled for Friday.

With The Canadian Press

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