Around 80 housing advocates gathered in front of Justin Trudeau's campaign office in Montreal on Tuesday to protest on behalf of social housing and against inadequate housing and what they say is Trudeau's "lack of commitment" on the issue.*
"The health crisis exposed the serious physical and mental health consequences for tenants in Mr. Trudeau's riding living in substandard overcrowded housing, and in particular for the development of children and the safety of abused women. One would hope that this would lead to greater interest on his part, but it didn't," Comité d'Action de Parc-Extension coordinator Amy Darwish said in a press release.
Crise du logement: @JustinTrudeau interpellé sur les besoins urgents de logements sociaux dans sa circonscription
FRAPRU and other housing advocate groups in Montreal have called on the government to "commit to a recurring investment of $3 billion per year to fund new social housing."
The investment would allow Quebec to build around 7,000 social housing units per year, according to FRAPRU.
Montreal's Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension borough has been at the centre of the social housing debate for quite some time.
Advocates claim thousands lived in unaffordable housing or housing that was too small before the pandemic.
"We already cannot rely on the private rental market to take care of low-income households, the response must be political, the State must take this on. This response requires social housing and we want clear commitments from Mr. Trudeau," Charles Castonguay, community organizer at the Association des Locataires de Villeray, said.
Hey Montreal, I hope you remember that after the federal election is over on September 20, you'll be in the throes of yet another election, this time for the mayor of Montreal, city and borough councils.
By now, we should all know the candidates, the parties, and what they claim to stand for but some of us might have no idea how to vote, when to vote, or how this whole mayoral election thing even works.
Project Montréal forms the current administration, lead by Valérie Plante. Plante has been the leader of the party since 2016 and was elected mayor in 2017. Plante is the first woman to be Montreal's mayor.
Plante dethroned former mayor Denis Coderre and his party Ensemble Montréal at the last election, prompting him to exit politics.
But Coderre is back and wants to regain the office of mayor. Ensemble Montréal has served as the official opposition in City Hall since the 2017 election.
Mouvement Montréal, meanwhile, is a new party with a charismatic leader in former CFL player Balarama Holness who promises to change Montreal and bring it into the future. Holness and his party have introduced bold policy moves, which include making Montreal a city-state within Quebec and making public transit free for everyone under 25.
The parties officially kicked off their campaigns on September 17, with promises and election signs aplenty.
There are 103 elective positions in 58 electoral districts in all 19 boroughs of Montreal. The breakdown is as follows, according to Elections Montréal:
mayor of Montreal
18 borough mayors who are also city councillors;
46 city councillors;
and 38 borough councillors.
There will be four full days of elections with two advance polling days and two official election days.
How to vote
There will be four full days of elections in Montreal plus mail-in voting.
Advance polling days will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 30 and 31, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in select polling stations.
The actual election will take place over two days on Saturday and Sunday, November 6 and 7, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. in over 400 polling stations around the city
In 2017, 42.5% of registered voters participated in the election, according to Elections Montréal. Will we eclipse that number this year?
The Regroupement des comités logement et associations de locataires du Québec (RCLALQ), a local tenant advocacy group, has told MTL Blog that it condemns a tenant blacklist website that says it's based in the U.S. and Canada.
The website, called Liste Noire, defines itself as a "global company that helps both building owners and property managers avoid losses or rental problems with certain individuals."
The site invites users to "simply add your tenants who are causing you or have caused you headaches" and "search the database to see if anyone has been registered."
In its "About" section, it says its "mission is to allow you to create an intelligent database that will allow you to make an easy and precise search based on some basic information in order to gain confidence in the face of a tenant at risk of causing you problems."
"While this website, in particular, does not appear to be well established, it can be harmful and should be reported to the CDPDJ, something we are already in the process of doing," the RCLALQ said.
"We condemn this kind of website that can be used as a means to discriminate against low-income tenants, people of colour, families, disabled tenants, and tenants who simply defend their rights."
In a statement shared with MTL Blog, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (CDPDJ) said it could not directly comment or give a legal opinion on Liste Noire.
It did note that, generally, "the collection of information on prospective tenants prior to the conclusion of a lease must respect the right to equality and the prohibition of discrimination set out in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms."
"Therefore, an owner cannot refuse to rent an apartment on the basis of one of the grounds of discrimination listed in the Charter."
Today marks the 15th anniversary of Montreal's Dawson College shooting. 18-year-old Anastasia De Sousa was killed and 19 others were injured.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante offered her thoughts to De Sousa's family and the victims of the shooting in a Twitter post. The mayor also implored the federal parties to make "better gun control" a priority so that a mass shooting doesn't happen again.
(1/2) Aujourd’hui marque le 15e anniversaire de la fusillade du Collège Dawson. J’ai une pensée particulière pour A… https://t.co/89NE1pLaJJ
"I have a special thought for Anastasia De Sousa and her family, as well as for the other victims and witnesses of this tragic event," the mayor wrote.
"It's a sad anniversary that reminds us of the need for better gun control. Federal parties must commit to making it a priority."
Dawson College, for its part, will mark the anniversary with a day of "quiet reflection." No formal commemorations will be held due to strict COVID-19 regulations at the school.
"Our daughter, forever in our hearts and present in spirit, was robbed of her bright future," Louise De Sousa said in a press release put out by the college.
"We had hoped that we would see more tangible improvements for tougher gun laws, but here we are, 15 years later and gun control is still being attacked and has become a campaign issue in these upcoming elections."