On September 24, after many long years and the third legislative attempt, the Ontario legislature passed Bill 14, the Non-profit Housing Co-operatives Statute Law Amendment Act, 2013, with a vote of 98 in favour and zero against. The legislation moves most co-op evictions out of the costly and time-consuming courts to a tribunal system under the Landlord and Tenant Board, all while maintaining co-op independence and autonomy.
“There are a lot of people to thank, particularly the provincial government under Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Linda Jeffrey. The government made Bill 14 one of the few legislative priorities since Parliament reconvened in February. To try and pass any bill, regardless of its content in this difficult minority parliament is a staggering challenge and Bill 14 was no exception,” says Harvey Cooper, Manager of Government Relations for CHF Canada’s Ontario Region. “We also want to thank the two Opposition parties, in particular their housing critics, MPP Steve Clark from the Progressive Conservatives, and MPP Cindy Forster of the NDP. At the end of the day all parties not only supported the bill, they moved no amendments in committee to change it and co-operated to fast-track its passage.”
This significant achievement would not have been possible without the collective efforts of many people in the co-op housing sector. “We want to thank the many, many co-op members and staff who took part in the countless meetings with MPPs during twists and turns that co-op eviction law reform has navigated over the last decade,” says Cooper. “A special thanks to our solicitor Bruce Lewis, who did not charge for his work on eviction law reform over the last ten years.”
We suspect that the Bill will take effect in about six to nine months once the Landlord and Tenant Board has completed their work to put in place the new system. Watch for future updates about this.