Toronto Tenants Demand No COVID Evictions
Yesterday hundreds of working class people marched through downtown Toronto, rallying at Queen’s Park before marching to the Landlord and Tenant Board. Tenants from Malton, Etobicoke, Jane and Finch, Parkdale, East York, and Scarborough were united in their demands for a permanent ban on evictions and forced collection of unpaid rent during the months of the COVID crisis and for landlords to agree to negotiate with tenants’ organizations.
Tenants warned that if landlords and the government try to evict any one of us they will be met with the organized resistance of tenants from across our city.
The event took the health and safety of participants seriously. Social distancing was strictly followed by all. At the rally at Queen’s Park attendees stood in a grid formation to maintain 2 metres (6.5 feet) of distance between each person at all times. Tenants refused to contribute to the transmission of COVID-19 in our neighbourhoods which have been among the areas hardest hit by infections of the virus.
Tenants’ speeches underlined that the day’s action was not the end of their work. In fact, they said it was just the beginning. No one has tenants’ backs – not landlords, not the government, not the advocates and experts. We have to organize ourselves in our buildings and neighbourhoods across our city.