A Proposed Quebec Bill Would Make It Illegal For Landlords To Ban Pets

The Montreal SPCA says that every day at least one person has to abandon an animal because of a move.

Senior Editor
A cat sits on the sidewalk in front of a row of typical Montreal apartments with outdoor staircases.

A cat sits on the sidewalk in front of a row of typical Montreal apartments with outdoor staircases.

It would be illegal for a Quebec landlord to ban tenants from having pets if a — potential — bill actually passes the National Assembly. Opposition political party Québec solidaire (QS) has committed to introducing a bill to that effect by the end of the current legislative session.

In addition to reducing the number of abandoned animals, QS contends such a bill, if passed, would ease pressure on tenants amid a housing crunch. MNA Manon Massé says "allowing people to keep their pets in their homes is a simple way to take some of the pressure off of tenants as the housing crisis rages on."

"It's hard enough as it is to find affordable housing, it's even harder if you have a pet," MNA Andrés Fontecilla added in a press release. "So people have no choice but to give them up in order to find housing. It is unacceptable that thousands of Quebecers have to make this choice when the solution is so simple."

The Montreal SPCA Executive Director Sophie Gaillard says that landlord restrictions on pet ownership "is one of the main reasons why animals are abandoned in shelters." She estimates the SPCA shelter takes in one animal a day because of moves.

Massé also cited the potential mental health benefits of pet ownership.

Such a measure isn't without precedent. Fontecilla said France and Ontario already have similar laws.

And this isn't the first time Québec solidaire and the SPCA have tried to get such a law on the books. A petition to ban landlords from restricting pets got over 30,000 signatures in 2022. Massé brought it to the National Assembly but says the end of the legislative session and the October election interrupted work to actually propose a bill.

Thomas MacDonald
Senior Editor
Thomas is MTL Blog's Senior Editor. He lives in Saint-Henri and loves it so much that he named his cat after it. On weekdays, he's publishing stories, editing and helping to manage MTL Blog's team of amazing writers. His beats include the STM, provincial and municipal politics and Céline Dion. On weekends, you might run into him brunching at Greenspot, walking along the Lachine Canal or walking Henri the cat in Parc Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier.
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