ACORN demands from Doug Ford to Save Rental Replacement Bylaws
Posted December 20, 2022
ACORN did actions in 7 cities across Ontario to release a new report on Save Rental Replacement Bylaws. Members met with Premier Doug Ford, went to the Housing Minister Steve Clark’s office the second time (he wasn’t there!) and visited the PC MPP offices in St. Thomas, Hamilton, Ottawa, Brampton and Mississauga.
Read ACORN’s new report
Couldn’t join? Take action to protect existing affordable housing
Through the new legislation, More Homes Build Faster Act 2022 or Bill 23, the Ontario government wants to build 1.5 million homes in the next 10 years. But they see the existing affordable homes, mostly those built 50 years ago, as a roadblock to building new housing supply. These homes are seen as energy inefficient and aging. Instead of boosting investments to do repairs, the government wants to take away the ability of the cities to enact or retain rental replacement bylaws.
ACORN report clearly demonstrates the vital role Rental Replacement Bylaws play in protecting existing affordable housing and preventing mass displacement. Rental replacement bylaws work!
Here’s a brief account of the actions:
Starting off with the action at the Premier Doug Ford’s office.
Small but mighty crew of Toronto ACORN members went to Premier Ford’s office in Etobicoke-North to deliver our report and a letter of demands to save rental replacement bylaws in Ontario! To no surprise, the office was closed and we were told by an employee to mail the letter to his office that we were directly outside of!
Members wouldn’t take no for an answer and also suspected Doug Ford might be in his office and we ended up being right! Members chanted “Premier, come out!” and after waiting for a few minutes, he finally came out to speak with us. Everyone spoke on how devastating Bill 23 will be for tenants in Ontario – getting rid of rental replacement bylaws will only displace tenants and destroy the affordable housing stock we already have. Doug Ford kept saying his government is committed to building 1.5 million affordable homes and members did a great job of explaining what we’re demanding and that we can’t afford to live in what he thinks is ‘affordable housing’.
Members also delivered our report and letter to the Premier.
Some print press coming soon!
Next up, Ottawa ACORN Board Members Eddy Roue and Bader Abu-Zahra drove to Brockville today to deliver ACORN’s new report on how Bill 23 will accelerate demovictions and homelessness to Housing Minister Steve Clark. Once again, he shut down his office. Clearly, the Minister is unwilling to make time to speak with tenants, though he seems to have all the time in the world and will even pass legislation for developers contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to his party. So, Eddy & Bader postered his office door, taped up the letter and report, and took to the streets of downtown Brockville to poster about “Steve Clark’s Demoviction Bill 23”. We were greeted by several local tenants who took flyers to pass on to their neighbours and showed a lot of support for the campaign!
Press from the Recorder & Times coming soon.
Additionally, members went to PC Government MPP offices in St. Thomas, Hamilton, Mississauga, Brampton and Ottawa.
London ACORN members went to Rob Flack’s office, who is the MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London. Eight members drove to the constituency in St. Thomas. They were asked to leave the property, but a few members did return to deliver the report and demand letter to Rob Flack’s staff. ACORN members chanted, handed out flyers, and did outreach on the street. Got a lot of support from passers by. Awesome leaders Claire Wittnebell and Jordan Smith led the action. St. Thomas myFM interviewed Jordan for the action and the story will be aired soon!
In Hamilton, 40 ACORN members and allies rallied in front of 468 James St N in downtown Hamilton to release ACORN’s “Save rental replacement bylaws” report. The event was led by downtown chapter chair Christine Neale and downtown member Damien Ash. Members Gord Symth (468 James St N) and Abdul Omer (181 John St N) also spoke about being demovicted from their apartments. Allies that spoke: Ward 3 Councillor Nrinder Nann, NDP MPP Hamilton Centre candidate Sarah Jama, Ian from Environment Hamilton and Karl Andrus from the Hamilton Community Benefits Network. The Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion and Stop Sprawl also joined in support. Tenants at 468 James St N were demovicted from their affordable apartments in 2021. The site now sits vacant while the developer looks to attract investors for a future luxury condo starting at $389,999 to over $699,999.
Due to pressure and organizing from ACORN, the city was expected to pass rental replacement in early 2023 and now Bill 23 puts local tenant protections in jeopardy. The fight will continue into 2023 to repeal Bill 23!
Ottawa ACORN members had an amazing action in front of Conservative MPP Lisa MacLeod’s office, rallying in front of 250B Greenbank Road in Ottawa and releasing ACORN’s “Save Rental Replacement Bylaws” report on Doug Ford’s Bill 23. This action was led by our spectacular members Amanda Teske and Sharon Katz. 16 members came out with eye-catching signs to launch the report — once the details of the report were released, members recited energetic chants and then went to deliver the report and a collective letter of demands to MPP MacLeod.
Members entered the office but MPP MacLeod was not present. As such, members delivered the “Save Rental Replacement Bylaws” report and letter of demands to her staff, and filled out a meeting request form to discuss Bill 23, affordable housing, and rental replacement bylaws.
La Droit came out to cover the story — link coming soon! Stay tuned for the Centretown Buzz’s coverage in the new year.
In Peel region, great action at two local Conservative MPP offices and the Brampton mayor’s office today! Peel ACORN members Rosemarie Thomas and Robin Vanderfleet jointly delivered the letter to MPP Kaleed Rasheed’s office. Cooksville area is likely to have a lot of demolitions to make space for the Hurontario LRT, so more work needs to be done about Bill 23.
In Brampton, ACORN members Tanya Burkart and Aiden Janey first went to the Mayor of Brampton, Patrick Brown’s office, where the members had a great conversation with the Mayor’s assistant. Members are worried about demovictions in Brampton as most of the apartment buildings are old and dilapidated and likely targets for the Bill 23. Then the members went to Prabmeet Sarkaria’s office where he was not present either, a trend for the day, where the members had another conversation with the assistant.