(LifeSiteNews) — In what appears to be an attack on private property, a 2022 government watchdog report suggests that the Government of Canada should start confiscating the buildings of landlords who “violate human rights,” such as the “right to adequate housing.”
A Canadian Human Rights Commission report that was published in June 2022 has suggested that the Canadian government should appropriate the private property of land owners who “violate human rights,” and that they should also ban such landlords from private lending.
The Canadian government ought to “expropriate housing owned by financial firms when their business strategies are known to violate human rights including the right to adequate housing whether via plans to raise rents, ‘renovict’ or reduce the quality of housing,” reads the report titled The Financialization Of Multi-Family Rental Housing In Canada.
The report provides an overview of the rental market since the 1990s in an attempt to show how financial firms and rental property owners use these buildings as money-making investments by reducing their costs while at the same time increasing their revenues. The report suggests that this is detrimental to tenants who often suffer the burden of increased rents, or who are even sometimes displaced as landlords upgrade their buildings.
“Importantly, these efforts affect the lives of tenants living in buildings subject to repositioning,” the report states. “Cost savings (depending on the type) ultimately affect tenants. Revenue generation strategies directly extract more income from tenants, who experience increased costs and economic hardship.”
“Efforts to redevelop a property can be very disruptive for residents, and efforts to attract tenants paying higher rents require the displacement of existing tenants from their homes, a process which systematically targets lower-income residents for dispossession,” it continues.
According to the report, “the financialization of rental housing works against the realization of the right to adequate housing.”
As a solution, the report suggests that the Canadian government take it upon themselves to “expropriate housing owned by financial firms that violate human rights,” “regulate lending institutions to suspend lending to entities that contravene human rights including the right to adequate housing,” “prevent the sale of housing to financial firms,” “stop subsidizing financial landlords with CMHC preferred lending” and “require public pension funds to promote the social good.”
While efforts to make housing affordable for the vulnerable is an important goal, recent reports such as these, in combination with remarks made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government, have Canadians worried the nation is heading in the communist-inspired direction of the abolishment of private property, a goal in contradiction to the long-held values of Christianity and Western civilization.
Last June, in response to questions about Bill C-19, which would allow the government to seize property owned by Russians in Canada, Trudeau’s Minister of Justice David Lametti remarked that “You don’t have an absolute right to own private property in Canada.”
Also last year, a prominent civil rights group became outraged when the province of British Columbia announced a forthcoming “unexplained wealth order” (UWO) law that would permit the government to take away one’s property or goods prior to being charged with a crime, if such “wealth” was of “unexplained” origin.
“The BCCLA (British Columbia Civil Liberties Association) believes that UWOs are an unnecessary expansion of government power,” the organization said in a statement, adding that such measures are “an unacceptable infringement of Canadians’ rights to the presumption of innocence, due process and privacy.”
The main problem is the double tenancy status. Landlords are limited by government regulations as to how much they are allowed increase the rent paid by the existing ternants. This usually happens once a year and cannot be higher than the official inflation index. However, new tenants, who replace tenants that had moved out, may be charged any amount of rent. I know a building in which tenants who moved in 20 years ago and were subject to 20 consecutive official rent increases pay a monthly rent between $1,200 and $1,300 (all inclusive), while new tenants are being asked to pay a rent between $1800 and 2,000 (plus the cost of hydro).
The consequences are obvious. Old tenants, who, due to inflation, have reachd a limit of their shrinking budgets, (as it often is the case with senior citizens receiving a fixed pension), cannot move to less expensive places. They cannot even move to a smaller and less expensive apartment in the same building. Everywhere they go, they are considered and treated as “new tenants”. They are expected to pay much more for a much smaller place. They cannot afford it. They cannot use their right to move to a different place in their own country. The system is taking this right away from them. They are stuck and face eviction. Often, they are denied new and modern replacement appliances or a better replacement flooring, things that are routinely offered to “new tenants”. Why? Because “they pay lower rent”.
All things have a specific time of usage beyond which they need to be repaired or replaced. Landlords should be clear about it instead of refusing to replace carpets, appliances, kitchen and washroom equipment that can no longer be used and enjoyed due to normal wear. Unfortunately, this is often not the case.
My last comment is addressed to the landlords and owners of rental properties. When you renovate your rental units or apartmrent buildings, for example, putting new windows, repairing weathered balconies, etc., you are increasing the value of your property. Your tenants have no part in this value as they don’t own any part of this property. They should not be paying for the improvements. When you sell your property in the future, you will not share the money with them. Therefore, you should not expect them to contribute to the cost of renovations.
Lately, we see a large number of renovations in and around apartment buildings in Hamilton. We hear that some landlords have applied for an official authorization to substantialy raise rents in order to cover the cost of these renovations. Based on the fact that tenants do not own any part of these rental properties and they did not participate in a decision to renovate these properties, such authorization would be unfair, inappropriate, and, most likely, illegal.
In general, the current system is not working. It needs to be reformed. The rights and best interest of the citizens need to be taken under consideration and restored. Businesses should exist to meet the needs of the people, not the other way around.