Green Caucus calls on Higgs government to establish rent controls

FREDERICTON - Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon is calling on the Higgs government to establish rent controls to protect New Brunswickers against unreasonable rent increases.

“New Brunswick renters have fewer legal protections than other Canadians,” said Coon. “This is why I tabled a bill to strengthen our weak Residential Tenancies Act almost two years ago.” 

Coon’s bill spawned a concerted lobby effort by some rental property developers to convince the government and Official Opposition to vote it down. The bill did not reach second reading before the end of the spring sitting.

Since the Greens’ effort to strengthen legal safeguards for tenants, the ownership of rental properties in New Brunswick has continued to shift to out-of-province corporations.

Coon and Megan Mitton, the Green critic for Service New Brunswick and MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar, are calling on Service New Brunswick Minister Mary Wilson to introduce legislation this fall to better protect New Brunswick renters from unjustifiable cost increases.

“Housing is a human right. Large, unjustifiable increases in rent will have negative consequences such as increasing homelessness and deepening poverty,” said Mitton. “Government must establish rent controls to protect tenants and avoid these negative consequences.”