EDITORIAL: How Ford can help social housing tenants

Back when Premier Doug Ford was running for mayor of Toronto against John Tory in 2014, he said he had a passion for people living in Toronto Community Housing.

One he had inherited from his late brother, Rob Ford, who both as a councillor and mayor, regularly visited tenants in social housing, asking them what would improve the quality of their lives.

From his brother’s example, Ford said, he learned that, “99% of these people want to go out, put in a good’s work and give back to their community. And a lot of them do, each and every day.”

Premier Doug Ford speaks during question period after announcing his government will seek to create a select committee to investigate “Liberal waste and scandal” at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Ont. on Monday September 24, 2018. Dave Abel/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

We agree with the premier.

Which is why, now that he is premier and Tory is the mayor of Toronto, Ford should grant the city’s request to amend provincial legislation, so that the Toronto Community Housing Corp. (TCHC) can ban tenants previously evicted for serious criminal activity from reapplying for social housing.

As Tory wrote to PC Housing Minister Steve Clark, TCHC tenants identify safety and security as their number one concerns.

Despite that, former premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government, “much to my disappointment”, Tory wrote, repeatedly rejected the city’s request Why? Because Wynne, going back to her days as housing minister in Dalton McGuinty’s government, was concerned about where tenants evicted for violence from TCHC housing could go to live, if they couldn’t re-apply for social housing.

Seriously. That was the Liberals’ argument.

A bullet hole through a kitchen window earlier this year at a home at the Ardwick Blvd TCHC housing complex. (JACK BOLAND, Toronto Sun)

It’s practical effect was that the rights of the minority of gun-totting gang members, drug dealers and other violent tenants living in social housing, took precedence over the rights of the majority of law-abiding tenants to feel safe in their homes.

Granting the city’s request to give TCHC the power to ban violent tenants previously evicted for serious criminal activity would be a significant way for Ford and the PCs to distinguish their policies from those of the previous Liberal government.

What’s truly shocking in all this is that this controversy has gone on for so many years, with Toronto repeatedly making this simple and sensible request and the previous Liberal Ontario government repeatedly refusing to grant it, for no good reason.

We urge Ford to do the right thing by social housing tenants and grant Tory’s request.

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Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies