Selina Robinson’s Comments Show a Government Panicked and Out-of-touch

Friday, September 11th, 2020 – VANCOUVER – The BC Ecosocialist Party today called upon BC Premier John Horgan and his cabinet to immediately restore the moratorium on evictions that recently expired. “With the province consistently confirming more than a hundred new Covid-19 cases per day and with work hours at bars, pubs, restaurants, banquet halls and night clubs being reduced by provincial order, this is not the time to make people’s housing less secure,” stated Ashwini Manohar, the party’s executive director.

Manohar noted that in many jurisdictions across Canada and the United States, eviction moratoriums are still in effect: “Liberals, Tories, Democrats, and even Republicans in office elsewhere are standing by tenants and keeping them safe. Why is the NDP – supposedly the continent’s only socialist government – standing with landlords and against tenants? Our party has a genuinely socialist plan to protect working people that we urge the government to adopt.”

Party Seeks a More Robust Anti-Eviction Policy

The BC Ecosocialists support an indefinite eviction moratorium during the Covid-19 crisis, a freeze of rents at current rates and a rent exemption program to which those who have lost income from Covid can seek a provincial waiver of the rent they owe. Landlords whose rent is voided by the waiver program would be able to apply for hardship grants from the province if they are able to demonstrate genuine personal hardship. If hardship is proven, the province would handle the risk of foreclosure through a waiver program that also voids or suspends mortgage payments.

Robinson, Farnworth Not Up to the Job

“Like BC’s school reopening plan, what we are seeing is an inexperienced, under-performing cabinet minister clearly out of their depth. Selina Robinson’s recent CBC interview, in which she appeared to base people’s housing security on the collapse of AirBNB, indicates that if this government has a plan for keeping people housed, they haven’t explained it to their own housing minister yet. And given the contempt that Mike Farnworth continues to express towards tent city residents and the hard line he is having the RCMP take, it seems reasonable to assume that housing everyone is not the plan,” added Stuart Parker, the party’s organizing chair, also noting that enforcement of eviction orders falls to Farnworth’s ministry, as Solicitor-General.

“We would call for Robinson’s resignation, but what would that even mean? It’s clear that she has been a bystander in the cabinet’s decision to shaft renters,” Parker concluded.

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For more information, please contact:

Ashwini Manohar ash.manohar@bcecosocialists.ca

Stuart Parker stuart.parker@bcecosocialists.ca