VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Premier John Horgan doesn’t have much sympathy for landlords trying to evict tenants who can’t afford to pay their rent during the pandemic.
But he won’t say yet if the emergency ban on evictions, set to expire at the end of July, will be extended.
“We’ll continue to work in partnership with the federal government to protect businesses who would be evicted for no fault of their own other than the circumstances they find themselves in,” Horgan says. “I would say to those who are renting space, if you have a tenant now, I don’t know why you would want to remove them.”
He adds this issue is something that needed to be cleared up in the early days of initial planning with the federal government.
The ban on evictions is set to expire July 31, but Horgan says, given the current circumstances, the date seems a far away.
“There’s a great deal of anxiety in the community, not just the health consequences, but the economic and social consequences of what we’ve gone through as a community over the past three months,” he says. “If I’m looking to the end of July, in COVID years, that’s a thousand years from now.”
Horgan also says another priority is working with the federal government to make sure all workers have guaranteed sick pay.
“We’re focusing on a daily basis on trying to ensure that we’re giving space to businesses so they can succeed, ensuring that the workforce is protected – those types of initiatives are front and centre for me,” he explains.
Earlier this month, B.C.’s Finance Minister Carole James announced landlords refusing to apply for the federal emergency pandemic relief will not be allowed to evict tenants who can’t afford to pay.
Landlords in B.C. urged the province to lift the eviction ban last week, arguing it would be problematic if things don’t return back to normal soon.