Advocates call for extension of Ontario eviction ban as stay-at-home order lifts


TORONTO — Housing and tenant advocates are calling on Ontario to keep a ban on residential evictions in place even though the province’s stay-at-home order has lifted.

The government halted all residential evictions when it imposed the stay-at-home order amid soaring COVID-19 cases in April.

The order lifted today, as did the accompanying ban on evictions, although the vast majority of public health restrictions remain.

ACORN Canada, an advocacy group for low and moderate-income families, says an eviction ban should stay in place as long as COVID-19 restrictions continue across Ontario.

Downtown Legal Services, a Toronto legal clinic, says the province is prioritizing landlords’ financial interests over the health and safety of tenants by lifting the ban.

Meanwhile, tenant advocacy group Keep Your Rent says eviction hearings have been continuing even while the ban has been in place. It says lifting the ban will likely result in a wave of evictions for tenants who can’t pay rent during the pandemic.

The provincial government did not immediately provide comment.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.


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