Tenants In Ontario Find An Ally In The Green Party

Ontario Legislative Assembly, Toronto

With two sitting members, the Green Party is not a big presence in Ontario’s Legislative Assembly. When it comes to tenants, though, Green Party Members are definitely tuned in.

The evidence comes in Bill 170, which would amend existing legislation to improve tenants’ housing stability. The bill would remove landlord incentives to evict sitting tenants, something that has become increasingly common.

Here’s an example of one measure in the Bill. Currently, when a rental unit is vacated, the rent paid by the new incoming tenant is based on current market pricing. Rent increases for sitting tenants are controlled1. Under current market conditions, the longer a tenant stays in the same unit, the bigger the gap between their rent and the rent the landlord could charge in the current market. Bill 170 removes the gap by requiring that the new tenant will pay the same rent as the tenant who moved out.

Bill 170 would also set up a rental task force to investigate how tenants are affected by evictions. The task force would be mandated to recommend remedies for the negative consequences of evictions. This creates a structure to obtain advice and direction from people who have been evicted. Advice from people who have been evicted could lead to further policy reforms.

Tenants and advocates have been calling for legislation that gives tenants more protection from eviction. Introducing Bill 170 does not mean that things will change any time soon. But it is a step, which acknowledges that existing rental protection legislation could do more to prevent needless tenant evictions.

Regardless of where you live, the legislation provides a good framework for reforming rent regulations that govern evictions.

You can read a copy of Bill 170 at the web site of the Ontario Legislative Assembly: Bill 170

Initial responses to Bill 170 by advocates and tenants are positive. Read more at the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights: Bill 170, Keeping People Housed Act


  1. Note that this applies to rent controlled units: some rental units on the market are not subject to rent control.