Posted on July 23, 2020
ACORN members are outraged as Doug Ford passed the Eviction Bill 184 amidst widespread tenant outcry across the province. At the start of the pandemic, Ford asked tenants to choose food over rent if they have to and that they will have his back. Four months after, he leads the passage of a Bill that speeds up evictions. Members rallied and delivered letters to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) in Hamilton, Ottawa, Toronto, Sudbury and London demanding an extension of the moratorium on evictions and rent forgiveness for tenants at risk of eviction.
Members were joined by allies and representatives from the NDP who delivered speeches and stood with us in solidarity. We will continue our fight for Housing is our RIGHT!
Here’s a glimpse of our province-wide actions:
Hamilton: Forty ACORN members and allies rallied at Gore Park to demand No COVID Evictions. Downtown chair Mike Wood, Mountain secretary/ treasurer Rebecca Guzzo and East Hamilton leader Elizabeth Ellis spoke about what the passing of Bill184 means for tenants and the urgent need for the provincial government to protect vulnerable tenants. We were joined by Anthony Marco from Hamilton and District Labour Council, Stephanie Cox from Hamilton Community Legal Clinic and Sarah Jama from Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion / Disability Justice of Network. After speeches and chants, ACORN members marched to the Landlord and Tenant Board to deliver a demand letter and drop a 'No COVID Evictions' banner.
Ottawa: More than 60 ACORN members and allies rallied at Parliament Hill calling for national residential rent relief (#RentBreak) and for NO COVID Evictions! The Parliament Hill Rally was hosted by Brockville City Councillor Leigh Bursey and featured speeches from 3 ACORN members and allies in the non-profit housing sector and service providers that work on preventing youth homelessness. We were also joined by labour allies from PSAC-NCR and OECTA. After speeches on the Hill, ACORN powerhouse leaders - Grace Iyobosa, Mavis Finnamore and Marie Lourdes Garnier (Chair of South Ottawa ACORN) - taught the crowd chants and led a march to the Landlord Tenant Board to protest the passing of Doug Ford's Eviction Bill184! Members were determined to make it to the 4th floor where LTB hearings take place and they were successful! Marie Lourdes and Grace quickly started a sit in chanting "Who are we? ACORN! What do we want? NO EVICTIONS? When do we want it? NOW!" Mavis read out the letter we were leaving behind taped to the door and leaders concluded the epic rally & march by taping posters to the front doors, visible for passersby.
Toronto: Over 60 members and allies joined the No COVID Evictions rally today - the rally was led by East York chair Alejandra, Downtown member Alejandro, and National President Marva. We started at Bay/College and had speeches from MPPs Jill Andrews, Suze Morrison, Councillor Wong-Tam and chants were led by Alejandro and Alejandra! We then marched to the LTB and shut down the entire street! Once we made it there, they wouldn't accept our letter so we taped it outside the door! While we were there, we had more speeches from allies and chants, then people started to paint & use chalk to write "No COVID Evictions" outside on the sidewalk/street. After that we marched in the street to Queen's Park and delivered over 26, 000 petition signatures against Bill184 from ACORN and LeadNow. We were stopped outside but MPP Faisal Hassan took the bag of petitions inside for us! Overall, it was a great action and new members who came were super excited for more!
Northern Ontario: Sault Ste Marie picketed in front of local PC MPP’s office and delivered the letter but the office was closed. Josie Weir and Scott Parsons did a great job representing Northern Ontario! Local newspaper came out and interview Josie and took pictures.
Sudbury had 4 people out, plus four media outlets. Our leader Charles Tossel delivered the letter, and that they will forward it to the appropriate people at the LTB and MOH. In attendance with Charles were 2 workers from the legal clinic, who spoke to the media. The NDP MPP Jamie West sent a representative out, as he was at the Queens Park.
London: London ACORN members alongwith two NDP MPPs – Peggy Sattler and Terence Kernaghan delivered a letter at the LTB after which members collected petitions and spoke to people about the devastating impact of Bill 184 on tenants.
SOO Today: Trio of Saultites protest 'COVID evictions'