MNA Labrie criticizes proposed rental reform
By Jack Wilson
The Association des locataires de Sherbrooke, a tenants’ advocacy group marched down a short section of King St. and planted trees in front of a parking lot June 14 in a protest calling for stronger rights for tenants, less gentrification and a public inquiry into housing in Quebec. The group met outside Sherbrooke MNA Christine Labrie’s office and concluded its march outside the multi-story parking lot.
The protest came in the lead-up to July 1, when many renters will switch their leases. The popular moving day typically results in some residents losing their housing.
Labrie, who’s running for Québec Solidaire’s (QS) co-leadership, addressed the crowd, criticizing the Coalition Avenir Quebec’s (CAQ) proposed Bill 31. The provincial bill would allow landlords to block lease transfers without a reason. Labrie called the proposed change “catastrophic,” pledging that her party would work hard to protect tenants’ right to sign over a lease.
“We’ll have to be strong. We’ll have to call on all the CAQ MNAs so that they understand that we can’t accept a setback like this,” Labrie told the crowd. “We need the CAQ to understand that people are shocked by this.”
Flash Pinsonneault, who joined the protest, also criticized the CAQ proposal as removing “one of the last rights we had.”