The Honourable John Gerretsen, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Tenants in Toronto are deeply disappointed that the Tenant Protection Act remains alive and unchanged. In 2004, our Federation enthusiastically participated in the consultation process. We counted on the promise of Mr. McGuinty of "real protection for tenants at all times", and the promise of Mr. Caplan to fix the Act within one year of taking office. We have given you detailed responses to your questions and our positions on the key issues facing tenants. Tenants are ready for real change and true fairness.
We know the devastating affect that the TPA has had on tenants. This year, we have already worked with over 1400 tenants that are facing Above Guideline Rent Increases based on a claimed jump in utility costs. It has been almost three years since both the Ombudsman of Ontario and the Divisional Court recommended that this part of the law be changed to end the obvious unfairness.
Minister Gerretsen, we are identifying below some changes that are within your immediate authority under section 208 of the Act to change the regulations. You have the Ministerial power to appoint people to the Tribunal.
We are calling on you now to take action:
1. To amend the regulations to stop increases for utility costs.
2. To amend the regulations to reduce the effect of capital cost allowances.
3. To fix the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal by appointing a new Chair. Make a clear statement that fairness to tenants is the new style.
4. To make a strong statement about apartments in disrepair. Tenants have a right to expect value for the money we pay as consumers and taxpayers.
Last April, you called for a time out from the additional 2% bonus which was included in the annual rent guideline. This was to be in effect while you determined the new legislation. We expect the time out to still be in effect. In other words, the 2006 annual guideline will not include the former 2% bonus permitted by the Act.
We are saying FIX IT NOW!
Chair, Federation of Metro Tenants Associations
And all the members of the Board of Directors
Shawn de Swart
P.S. We will be making this letter public on Thursday May 26, 2005